Intimate, charismatic, and soul-stirring…
The vibrant latest collection from Gutteridge is for “Anne who made love her gift to the world,” the ADDENDUM notes before taking readers on a journey across pages full of old memories and poignant emotions. The collection starts on a lighter note, “I don’t recall the number/ of times I fell in love/ (or out of it), but I must’ve/ been all of ten when Nancy/ swam into my cunning ken.” Gutteridge’s voice is intimate and urging, full of ardent longing and lingering pain, especially when he talks about his wife, Anne, “Odd, isn’t it? I never/ called you ‘my girl;’/ as if I’d wooed and won you,/ (as much as I’d hoped for a/ dream romance, showing you off/ on my amiable arm like first/ prize in some Kinsmen’s raffle),/ but even so, you kept/ something of the girl curled/ inside like a filigreed fern” (“WINK”). In “TRULY WED,” he writes about his wedding day, “There was no confetti to garnish/ the egress of the happy couple,/ and the reception was held in the/ Legion Hall among portraits/ of mustachioed generals.” In “RAIN-HONED ROSES,” he grapples with the pain of his grandson Tom’s passing: “Three years almost since you’ve/ been gone, and the shock of your loss/ still stings like a bee in the brain.” Some pieces are immediate and urging; some are full of insight and wisdom. Overall though, the collection reverberates with longing and loss, inviting the reader into its intimate, transcendent world. A stunner.
GILDING THE LILY
New Poems: 2023