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What Matters: Poems Hardcover – September 16, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

We're all survivors of one thing or another, and these meticulously crafted poems by Adele Kenny tell us that we're not alone. Intimate rather than private, the poems in What Matters are characterized by startling imagery, rich metaphor, and a compelling sense of immediacy. The book begins with meditations on the past and what has been lost (as Shakespeare wrote, "...what's past is prologue"). Section two moves through the diagnosis and treatment of a life-threatening illness, and section three demonstrates how loss, grief, and illness can teach us how to live. Intensely lyrical and sometimes edgy, these poems are about the human spirit's transcendent nature - the immanent "something more."  

From the Back Cover

These poems are eloquent, candid, straightforward and genuine. (Robert Pinsky, U.S. Poet Laureate 1997-2000)

In Adele Kenny's finely wrought meditations on grief and loss, she never forgets that she's a maker of poems; in other words, that the poem in its entirety is more important than any one of its utterances, phrasings, or laments. 
What Mattersstraddles two of the exigencies of the human condition: diminishment and endurance. It abounds with poems that skillfully earn their sentiments. (Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize in Poetry)

These are poems that come to (poetic) grips with the issues of grief, fear, and death ... focused in a new and strong way. (Gerald Stern, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, National Book Award Recipient)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Welcome Rain Publishers (September 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566490790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566490795
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,631,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Melissa Studdard on September 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excerpt from my review in the fall issue of Journal of New Jersey Poets: Technically and in terms of craft, What Matters is a triumphant collection, matching a transcendent poetic sensibility with the small and large victories of the human spirit--its fears, its joys, its ability to persevere. As Stephen Dunn states, "In Adele Kenny's finely wrought meditations on grief and loss, she never forgets that she's a maker of poems; in other words, that the poem in its entirety is more important than any one of its utterances, phrasings, or laments." I would add to this that Kenny also never loses sight of the even larger whole: the poems together as a collection. Because of the careful attention to the smallest of details and the largest of structures, What Matters achieves the kind of overall cohesion that translates into complete, enthralled engagement at every level for the reader.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read What Matters in one sitting - even though I had other "to do" things calling me. It is a beautiful and engaging read. Its prompt is a very human, and personal, reaction to illness. But the language raises the poems to a higher, broader level. There is mystery in the poems, sorrow, and a natural questioning of how to move on after grief. What Matters reminds us of our shared humanity, expressed in a true poet's most expert writings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WHAT MATTERS
Poems by Adele Kenny
Welcome Rain Publishers

ISBN-13: 987-1566490795 - 2011

Poet Adele Kenny has aligned this selection of her poems into a sequential frame of the plateaus, valleys, and mountains of life, inviting us to wander freely among these terrains and even hang-out in a chosen field of metaphors and memories that abound in this superlative little book. And has incisively placed fear into an idiomatic pocket of 'it is what it is' and acknowledges fear's freedom to show up anywhere it wants but, as a prelude to its schizoid self of dread, worry, and night fright, she also reminds us that fear includes veneration, awe, regret and care.

You can be assured dear reader that the greatest reward in owning this book is in experiencing the 'process' of memory suddenly taking prominence over the actual memory itself, thus releasing an array of unawares allowing old wounds to step forward as the core subtext of her poems. And it is in this concealed mix that we discover the magic adroitly hidden within the fabric of her poems echoing 'What Matters' over and over again.

The thickly woven emotional truths of Adele's stark and poignant poetry frightens pick-pockets and all the forked tongues that reside in perpetuity. It empathizes with those long abandoned farm houses grieving for their Halcyon Days (pre-plastic toys) and their cherished little library now defiled with a grinning graffiti of disdain for the good, truth, and beauty of another day. Yes, it has been said "there were no good old days" Forget it. Adele Kenny speaks to us solely in the expertise of her 'first language' -- the language of the past. Prof. J. Maghan, Chester, CT - October 01, 2011:10PM
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Format: Hardcover
As a soul survivor, I have experienced many trying to character rape me. Many are desperate to be a somebody. I have always been lone while exiled allot. I have been my own inspiration and I have learned that I have developed a character that many have tried to take credit for and or imitate. So, I have been working on exposing insincerity and charcter rapers. Of course, I have discovered, so far, that poets are insincere. We'll they script 'peices' and they script for publicity - insincere. I'm telling you, no one who lives agony, wants to relive it at all. When we are in it - were not scripting about agony or our reality. Yeah, I sing naturally and it helps get me out of that reality or it enahnces it - no scripted words either. It is real singing.

You do not really need anyone to play God in order to figure out how to cope with anything. It doesnt matter what I tell you - the answer is within you and or a matter of you letting go...

In addtion, you can learn from animals and nature........

"The Trains

We felt them first. Fingers pressed to the rails,
a dull rumble filled our hands and hummed into
our arms before the cone of light, the great clatter

of metal against metal. Trestled high, above the
bridge on Grand Avenue, we knew those tracks
went on forever, between trees that lined the ties

like stations of the cross. The hill was forbidden but
holy, thick with clover, ripe with berries in spring.
The year I was nine, an April blizzard swept the

sky and we went to the trains in the dark. The wires
strummed into sparks, the rails were a dazzle of
shadows.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a lyrical thanksgiving where life calls out to life "What Matters" reminds us of the joy we find in life and through our relationship with life, especially through our relationships with family, friends, and the divine mystery. These poems will bring you the thin points of the world, where you may come to see the eternal transcending power of creation, breaking through the borders surrounding us. They are a celebration of life and living, of transformation through the journey of healing, of being itself. Adele Kenny is a master poet, who weaves together for us a new tapestry in the art of living. She leads us down this path with a sacrament of words, offering insights and lessons in living; in how to live life with an openness to all its richness. Well done. Well written. Well shared. Well met. - Ron Starbuck What Matters: Poems
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