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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Special family connections. The simplicity of treasured family moments: “Curled on Grandpa’s lap,/ while he spins the tale/ on the Three Bears…” Childhood memories like a visit to the zoo or flying homemade kites: “we feel its every torque/ and tug through the taut tether,/ satisfied that it’s sailing/ on the sea it belongs to,/ leaving us languished/ on the land below.” Time of day, seasons of the year. Simple pleasures. The beauty all around us. And life itself: “I’d like/ to think that it was I who chose/ life when it was actually/ life who chose me and all/ that followed.”
I have read a number of Don Gutteridge’s poems over the years and I continue to marvel at his ability to capture the simplest of moments in a capsule and make it grander than life with his poetic observations. His poetry reminds me of the art of Georgia O’Keeffe as he enlarges so many tiny thoughts. His recent collection, Point Taken: Collected Poems: 2014-2020 includes a concise overview of his work during this time. All the poems are short lyrics, written in free verse. Each one captures a precious moment, a cherished family member or friend, a glimpse of beauty in nature, in the skies, or at night and so much more. He makes life grander than life, if that’s at all possible, just like O’Keeffe captures on canvas lives grander than life. His poetry reads like a memoir in verse, each one a tiny treasure of something that captures his poetic attention. Very inspiring, soothing, and down to earth.