James Kinney (1923-1974) was born in a very poor Irish family in Cincinnati and had a very tough childhood. He went to the 10th grade of high school, when he dropped out to take care of his mother. Because of that, he spent his whole life self-educating and in the process, started reading and writing poetry.
After a brief stint with the Civilian Conservation Corps, he joined the army and was stationed in the Philippines as a radio man. On his return to USA, he started writing more extensively.
Apart from The Cold Within, which is his best-known piece, he wrote a number of poems that were published in different magazines. Some of these include Of A Rejected Poem, Of Life’s Sad Moments, I Can’t Change You, This Dream Bemusing, Tomorrow’s Another Day, Never Alone and What is Success.
2 thoughts on “James Patrick Kinney”
I have read and re-read this poem, and have always come away feeling that we all continue to live in silos. We each believe in the folkways and mores that we were taught as children, and never seem to question the accuracy of that information. “It just is the way it is” we all say. And yet, when we all come to the end of our time on this earth, we begin to soften our acknowledgement that perhaps, we all are less than perfect in both attitudes and personality. The knowledge that Mr. James Patrick Kinney imparted with the weight of his words in the “The Cold Within”, certainly should give us all a cause to pause in our self – centered ways. After all, our lives are finite, and not infinite. No “do – overs” for any of us.