JEAN KENWARD (b. 1920)
Jean Kenward is known world wide for her poems and rhymes for children, which have appeared in numerous anthologies and radio programmes. Not so well known are poems she has written for adults during a long writing life. We felt the best of these deserved an airing. There are two volumes in slightly overlapping chronological sequence: Up The Lane (poems written between 1940 and 1980) and Further Up The Lane (poems written from roughly 1970 onwards).
“Jean Kenward is a musical poet. She sees the roots of poetry in song. Whether it be a gossamerlight nursery rhyme or a well turned sonnet, it will have that instinctive element of song. Jean’s closeness to nature’s cycles puts her in a direct line with such poets as John Clare, Thomas Hardy, Robert Frost and Edward Thomas” (excerpt from introduction to Up The Lane).
Both chapbooks are available either with plain covers or with covers that have an original ink illustration by Barbara Sedassy.
Up The Lane contains three sections: Cycles, Creatures, and Different Times, Different People.
It was a day that broke up,
into a million fragments.
Then, the sun
then the meadow
the fractured sun.
It was a day
erupting into brilliant
arrows of fire
The cherry tree
in a gust of winter
and swilled the lane
Further Up The Lane also contains three sections: Wonders, Growing, and Migration.
The field lies like a sleek beast in the sun,
Now, in the
tumbled centre, gleams of light
more beautiful and rare