Author: April Bulmer
Title: Out of Darkness, Light
ISBN: 978-1-927725-54-2 = 9781927725542 – (Soft Cover)
Trade Paperback: 71 pages – 6 X 9
Suggested Retail (Paperback): $19.95
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We are proud to announce that this book is part of “The John B. Lee Signature Series”.
Home Ground, is considered to be one of the best of Don Gutteridge’s almost 60 books. Gutteridge has a divine gift; he crafts visions with an elegant ease, splashing colors on canvas of the mind’s eye. Home Ground recreates the past so vividly it argues for the concept of time standing still.
Don Gutteridge is a master of his craft. He won the 1972 UWO President’s Medal for the best periodical poem of that year. “Death At Quebec.” His poetry collection Coppermine was short-listed for the 1973 Governor General’s Literary Award. Now with this new collection of poems, Home Ground, he is destined to leave a permanent mark on the Canadian poetry scene. Don Gutteridge is arguably one of Canada’s finest poets.
Reading Don Gutteridge’s collection of poetry, Home Ground, will instill a sense of wonder and presence with his well-hewn memories of Point Edward. Don’s delight in crafting his poems, in making his images sing, spills over onto the page. The reader can’t help but be affected on many levels. Home Ground reveals the bright tapestry that is the author’s memories, his adventures as a child, his companions and family. If it is correct to say that a great poem aspires to include the mind, the body, the heart, the soul and the spirit in one surround, then one can affirm that this collection of poems, Home Ground, has indeed realized this truism. Don Gutteridge, a Canadian voice through and through, is a poet to be reckoned with.
As the title suggests, Home Ground is steeped in simple home truths. Spanning his memories from childhood to old age, Gutteridge celebrates his family and friendships in short poems that are much more than snapshots. (His memorable poems for John B. Lee and John Oughton are stellar among his well-realized portraits)
Emotionally accessible, Gutteridge gives his readers good reason to care. A consummate craftsman, his lyricism, long musical lines, delightful use of rhyme, half-rhyme and original imagery “lozenge of elm, marinating moon, heart split like a Christmas chestnut” are a joy.
For all his optimism, Gutteridge also tries hard to come to the edge of everything. The childhood incident where he wonders why I became something I was not:/ a bully; and the Irish grandfather I never got to know/thoughtlessly murdered are good examples of his duende.
Mindful of death closing in, this elder humorously congratulates himself for still being alive and waiting patiently for my turn. At home with the ghosts of the loved ones he misses, he finds consolation in poetry: a way of speaking to the world about what matters most to him.
Poet / Play write
Don Gutteridge’s Home Ground reads and is instilled with the kind of elegance that has been missing from our modern world. Topics of the author’s youth and his later years are spoken of with such a fondness. The poems are brief on the page, most never going over a complete page in length. Though fleeting on the tongue, they sit well within the reader for much longer. A few of those favored lines being, “and here I am against/ the odds still living, / waiting patiently for my turn”. The font choice is an interesting one and has a way of playing tricks on the eyes, but in a fun-house kind of way that adds an extra layer to the exceptional assortment.
Home Ground is a poetry collection that will knock you off your boots in the sweetest of ways. It is an assemblage of poems that will speak to you in ways you’ve never been spoken to before. Your own childhood will be drawn up to the forefront of your mind and hopefully it plays out just as beautifully as the author’s own childhood does. You might cry reading this, as there are many poems dedicated to the memory of others. It will be difficult not to think of our own friends and family members who have become lost to us over the years in the physical world. Although I do feel that adults would get the most out of reading this poetry collection, any person of any age could benefit from it and would perhaps get a sneak peek at what life might have in store for them later on.
Erin Nicole Cochran
for Readers’ Favorite