A dazzling and impressive work from the master…
Shocking in its gorgeous simplicity, Gutteridge’s marvelous latest collection is a homage to love, loss, and life. The poems, selected from Guttridge’s various books written over the course of recent years, delve into memories, human connection, grief, boyhood and are largely set in the village of Point Edward, Ontario, his hometown. “The aging poet does not/ pose behind a podium/ to project some bardic bravado,” Gutteridge writes, “he is seated, rather, in his walker,/ awkwardly, as if he can feel/ his bones brooding in their sockets.” The voice in these pages is both heartbreaking and hopeful, and Gutteridge’s imagination is extraordinary: there’s no pretension; the writing is wholly spontaneous, all heart. Rich imagery and the layered meaning behind the words, however, demand a slow reading on the reader’s part. “I’d like to think that some-/ where we are all immortal/ in a place where the good gods/ grin and forgive, where some/ semblance of what we once were,/ abides and breathes, a sanctuary/ for the solace of souls, where we can/ recall everything we’ve un-/ remembered, and those we loved/ till our bones bled and surrendered/ to Death’s dominion, bind up/ our wounds, and even though/ we may believe in Heaven’s/ leavening or the gift of its grace,/ body-and-soul will find/ a way to come uncoupled/ and grieve on their own.” Both a love letter and an invitation to all that’s life, the book makes for a mesmerizing read.
O Frabjous Day!
A Selection of Poems: 2019-2023
Selection and Introduction by Brian T. W. Way