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In his lush and soulful latest, Gutteridge teases out the pain of loss and the joy of life, building them into poems that are tender and charged at once. The collection moves in a loose chronological order, shifting from poems about famous literary figures to pieces about boyhood memories, love, life, passion, loss, grief, and pain. In “Wonder,” he contemplates children’s ability to revel in simpler things: “When I was young enough/ to know better, I wondered/ if bees sneezed or butter-/ flies blushed or my uncle/ took snuff, but pretty soon/ I grew too wise/ for my years, and what I wondered,/ then, is where the wonder/ went.” Poems such as “Harbour,” “Lucid: October 1996,” “Collision,” “Ah, Love,” and “Rubicund” capture the resounding loneliness and lingering grief that arrive after pain of losing loved ones to death has burned away. In “High Hover,” he contemplates the simplicity of old country life, pulling the reader into his world, and making them marvel at a life well-lived. In poems such as “Double-bricked,” “Unaltered,” “Praise Enough,” Daffodillian,” Gutetridges uses the old country life as his foundation as he writes about old memories, friendships, and passions and desires of boyhood. Arresting, fiercely tender, and teeming with life, the collection makes for a page-turner.
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