Once again Peter Kenny, known worldwide as a passionate fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and the world of fantasy, has given us a treasury of poems, Memories of Another Land. Mr. Kenny has revisited the world of his first collection of poems, Dreams of Another Land, to continue to explore the bygone years and half-remembered histories of this other land, both familiar and strange to our own eyes and memories. Brave warriors, travelling wizards, voyagers making their long ways across land and sea, and lovers both together and apart are described with language that in places is delicately pastel and in other places vividly coloured. Some poems describe dark beings and darkness falling across the land, but against this gloom stands the presence–in some poems prominently, in others as a small brave figure–of hope, for better days, peaceful times, and love reunited.
Mr. Kenny’s previous illustrator, Sue Bradley, has again provided lovely watercolour illustrations to pair with the poems.
Notable poems include “The Clans Will Gather,” with its echoes of Celtic traditions, and “His Golden Ring,” with just the right touch of eeriness along with vivid imagery. The Title Poem “Memories of Another Land” is a lovely poem which reminds us that not all we “know” is true, and that it’s what people have inside them that produces evil–or by extension good. Big folk and small, young folk and old, will all find something to enjoy in Memories of Another Land.
Sherry Larson-Rhodes. First Year Experience Librarian at SUNY Geneseo, & freelance editor.
John D. Cofield –
Peter Kenny is an ardent Tolkien fan, collector, and writer. From his home in Brisbane, Australia, he has become well-known throughout the world for his poetry. This collection is an addition to his previous publication Dreams of Another Land, and it carries on the same conceit: that the poems were written by “my uncle” Fortinbras Proudfoot, a story teller well known in his own land, a reborn Shire. Like the first collection, Memories of Another Land is illustrated with lovely water color paintings by Sue Bradley, which enhance and provide fitting frameworks for Uncle Proudfoot’s poetry.
The 113 pages are divided into five sections. The first three deal with weightier matters than might be expected from the pen of a simple hobbit, dealing as they do with powerful figures (Tolkien’s readers will recognize them), conflict, and gathering darkness. The last two sections revert to some of the themes of the first volume, focusing on dreams, love, and awakenings. All are enjoyable to read and to ponder. This is a book to cherish and reread, and it is to be hoped that Uncle Proudfoot will be inspired to share more of his world with us.