Exquisite and affecting; a memorable collection…
The moving, intelligent latest book from Gutteridge riffs on love, life, death, loss, grief, and memories. Poems in the collection address the fragility of life and love, the pain of losing a loved one to death, and the eternalness of memories. The bulk of the book is about the author’s lifelong love affair with his departed wife, Anne, which include a sequence of their early courting days: “I wasn’t sure whether you/ were the kind of gal who welcomed/ roses or chocolates in a/ beribboned box, but then/ again, those smitten/ have never been keen on the/ petty protocols of courting.” His grief at losing his beloved grandson at a young age of 35 takes equal space: “I promised you that I’d given up/ weeping at your lonely going,/ but still, some sentimental/ sliver of song, held too long/ in the heart, can set the tears/ a-teem and catch my breath/ abaft.” Some poems celebrate the obliviousness of childhood; some delve into happy memories of long-gone yesterday, of growing up in the village of Point Edward, Ontario when children were free to roam, explore, and invent their pastimes; and others contend with grief. Gutteridge’s expert prose, vivid imagery, and earnestness immediately draws readers in. This tender volume leaves a mark.
GILDING THE LILY
New Poems: 2023