Tidings by Don GutteridgeTidings by Don Gutteridge


byDon Gutteridge

Paperback | July 10, 2015

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Don began his poetry writing career with a number of long poems based on historical figures from Canada's past. He felt more comfortable composing poems that were somewhat distant from his own persona (although there was a lot of him in them). However, by 1977 he was writing about his home—ground in A True History of Lambton County, with a mixture of both personal and public poems. Then with God's Geography in 1982 he came around to fully expressing his own persona, although his interest in local characters and events remained strong. In the last fifteen years he has written nothing but short lyrical poems, most of them set in his home village of Point Edward, Ontario, and many dealing with his family and friends. He now feels comfortable with these kinds of poems and Tidings is a quintessential example of his late work.
The first section deals with portraits of characters from the village, remembered mostly from a childhood perspective. The second and third sections are about his present life, particularly about the ageing process and the business of poetry writing itself. He has been heavily influenced by the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Dylan Thomas and Al Purdy, giving his poems a strong rhythmic sense and a feeling of forward, narrative movement. He was fortunate to grow up in such a lively and memorable village as Point Edward with more than its share of interesting characters and a long and colourful history. Considering also the great lake at its feet and the roaring St. Clair River, Don has had a cornucopia of things to write about and inspire him. He endeavoured to make Tidings strike the delicate balance between nostalgia and ironic distance.

Don Gutteridge is the author of more than forty books: poetry, fiction and scholarly works in educational theory and practice. He was born in Sarnia, Ontario, and raised in the nearby village of Point Edward. He graduated from Western University in 1960 with an Honours English degree, and taught high school English for seven years befo...
Title:TidingsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:64 pages, 8 × 5.75 × 0.2 inPublished:July 10, 2015Publisher:Black Moss PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0887535518

ISBN - 13:9780887535512

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Miniatures Review of Tidings by Beth Whitney Like the last cello recording of Pablo Casals, Don Gutteridge evokes a long life in poetry, as a writer, friend, family man and keen observer of the world’s small wonders. Tidings, his latest volume of short, lyric poems, is an evocative title for a collection of miniatures, small portraits of loved ones, moments in childhood, elements in the education of a writer. Tidings are sometimes glad – as when to the shepherds below, “Gabriel blew / his heraldic horn / and let such tidings / ride his music to the far / Heavens that they knew / in their hearts something / glorious had happened / to the world.” But tidings can also be bittersweet “. . . home is what / the heart craves, and so /in God’s good time / we hearken there /braving the odds /whenever we can.” The tides of life are constant themes in this volume of ruminations on childhood, moments in the lives of loved ones, memories of friends, imaginings about absence and death: “When I’ll no longer be, / the world will while away / the hours with someone / other than me . . .” he writes, wondering what will become of his “few scattered words” and a handful of loved ones I touched / here and there over / the long years of my life.” Although he is captivated by the future, exemplified by his granddaughter’s “bright, child- / lit mind” and his grandson’s football games as the players “grapple for glory.” This is a volume of sweet reflections on the past: childhood summers “slung between June / and September. The words of these poems are simple, but the portic language is vibrant. We hear the experience of the poet’s grandfather in wartime Belgium, “when the stuttering gunneries / loosed their havoc upon / the poppy fields and ground / them to floundering muck.” We are with the poet “when the morning sun / seasoned everything / it touched and made it glow / for my eyes only.” And often a gentle and ironic twist to an ending phrase makes the words shimmer on the page: orioles arrive in April , “their perfect punctuality / and airy arias oddly / reassuring in a world / otherwise random.” This is a volume to return to again and again: for solace, for poetic language, for appreciating brief glimpses of moments in a life. And while the poet, with his beloved, feels he is “here, now / riding out our last days,” I for one look forward to a future where Don Gutteridge continues “to make the unwilling / world articulate.”
Date published: 2016-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poetic eloquence Completed on: 05/09/2016 Review Rating: 5 stars! Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite There are many times in one’s life that the world might seem to spin around in poetic eloquence. A simple view of summer with the rising and setting sun, childhood play in the great outdoors, the undeniable magic of believing in Santa – these are the intricacies of childhood, the simplicities that seem forgotten now in the high tech age of gadgetry. The delight of a child learning to read a book for themselves seems a lost treasure, though there are still some children who cherish the fine art of literature. Don Gutteridge is a poet. Everything in his life can be reflected in both abstract and rhyming verse. His recent book, Tidings, metamorphoses the cycles of life into translucent eloquence. From childhood romps to Christian teachings and on to the ageless eternity of growing old: “There is nothing wrong with growing old...” (Memory). Or the wry humor of: “I am now an old man huffing and puffing my way to breakfast, no longer growing old gracefully or merely getting on in years, and I think such a thought could kill me at my age...” (An Odd Thought). And the reflective thoughts: “to un-be, to picture that moment when nothing comes after, when the last syllable’s expressed and the long monologue of our life is over...” (Elemental). Don has found a sense of magic in the written word. His poetry is a tribute to his life and to those who made him what he is today. This is an inspiring and insightful memoir in verse. A real treasure of memories and mementos of a life well lived.
Date published: 2016-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Masterpiece vWhat an absolutely stunningly beautiful book. I love the lyric simplicity of Tidings (and in this context the word simplicity is very high praise indeed). I read poem after poem and think it is a masterpiece. There is an abiding sadness, but the sadness of wisdom, of knowing that if we live long enough, we lose loved ones, we keep them in our hearts though they are gone. Long ago I coined the phrase “the presence of absence” to capture in as few words as possible what I felt when I thought of those loved ones I’d lost. We preserve them in poems. We keep them alive in memory and dream. We weep and grieve and lament and celebrate. This book is profound and wise and consoling. I will be reading it again and again because it goes deep. It has the courage of autobiography without the honey trap of the confessional. John B Lee, award-winning poet
Date published: 2015-07-20