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O Frabjous Day!
A Selection of Poems: 2019-2023
Selection and Introduction by Brian T. W. Way
In this marvelous collection that brims with love, grief, and the sweetness of memories, award-winning Gutteridge writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgetting, and familial and friendship ties that make us whole. Across different sections, which feature a selection of poems written from 2019 to 2023, Gutteridge talks about old memories of growing up in small Canadian village of Point Edward, his boyhood shenanigans and lusts, his love for words, his pain of losing his wife Anne and grandson Tom, and in its final section, “Masters of the Craft,” he elegantly pays homage to a specific writer he has admired through the years. Gutteridge’s attention to form and language is masterful. Whether he’s writing about the devastating pain of losing his loved ones, or mulling over what happens after he is gone, his words are soaked with the passion and intensity of a life well-lived and loved: “When I am gone and the bones/ which kept my body upright/ and ept are feeding the flames/ that will render me ash to furnish/ an urn, the million million thoughts I’ve distilled in the mnemonics/ of my mind will float free / and fend for themselves/ unless, as I often suppose,/ they’ve found some solace in the/ havened home of my poems.” The poems remain deeply touching and wide-eyed to the end, turning from melancholic to hopeful, heartbreaking to joyful, philosophical to worldly. The incredible introduction by Brian T. W. Way beautifully provides the context. A luminous collection that deserves to be read and re-read.
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