The Magnificence of Ruin by Sherry Kearns


Each word in these quirky meditations by Sherry Kearns is a knot on a string of prayer beads.  – Michael Perkins


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 92
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: June, 2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-939929-27-3


“She is downright and forthright.” —William Bronk

Each word in these quirky meditations by Sherry Kearns is a knot on a string of prayer beads.  The words rush and tumble breathlessly until they fold into themselves, like an ouroboros, so that nothing is wasted.  She is as frugal with language as her friend and mentor William Bronk was in his late poems.  Her metaphors are surprising because she employs abstract language to illumine homely matters.  The Magnificance of Ruin more than fulfills the promise of Kearns’s first book, Deep Kiss.  She is the Queen of North Country poets. —Michael Perkins

Masterful…and, indeed, some are masterpieces.  —Richard Carella

Not since Emily Dickinson, and William Bronk (Sherry Kearns’ beloved friend and mentor) has a poet brought so much gnomic utterance and cognitive lyricism to the page.  Through the gift of her eyes’ thought the nature of reality, or our experience of it, is made the clearer, brought the nearer, even in the moment of ruin (being actually the moment of revelation, where the difference between perception and cognition disappears). In the miraculous instant made apparent, we are brought as witness to a world where “time’s exchange / with infinity thrusts / its white lights / outward / pushing the dark / ahead of itself.”, and our human constructions, enormous though they be to us, are revealed as the child’s toyed-with-blocks that they are – under gravity’s pull (or in their beholding, held there under gravity’s spell) – “lean in suspension of belief”, and what falls falls as “quarried giants / into uncreated chaos”, or more gently like “This: the white of lilacs / and of snow / falling in auras / through halos /  of streetlamp light / filling roads and / sidewalks as if / stars’ numberless markers were / filling night’s faceless clock.”  —Robert Murphy


Catching On

When we catch on,
it’s because we’ve
been caught onto
and what we’ve
grasped grasps us
so that we
go together
where we think
it’s taking us,
but that’s where
we were going
all along.


Sherry KernsShe is the author of the chapbooks Sister (Poetry New York, 1999) and The Ginko at 57 Pearl St. (James L. Weil, 2005). SUNY Adirondack published her essays Conversations About Poetry as part of their poetry and art series inspired by the William Bronk Collection.  Deep Kiss, her first volume of poetry, was released in 2013 by Dos Madres Press.

A past recipient of a grant from New York State’s Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) program, Kearns also received the William Bronk Foundation prize for her memoir Meeting Bill.

Additional information

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in