Like a bridge newly built over the wide expanse of a fast flowing river, these poems span the life of a man who still tingles with amazement at the beauty of the present, as he also sees through misty memory how viewing the past with a clear eye might yield the sacred truth of what it means to be fully human. Whether he is recalling his childhood, remembering the loss of contemporary friends grown old, or he is delighting in the love he feels for his family, he is a man who continues to celebrate his own good fortune. He sees deep into the blue water flowing beneath the bridge, though he sometimes finds himself stranded on the shore. His poetry embraces scripture, celebrating both the child’s Bible Christ of the hymn Jesus Loves Me, and the adult understanding of the suffering of Christ on the cross. He does not shy away from death. These are brave poems. Like small prayers they partake in the possibility of language as a numinous reminder that the best words in the best order might bring inner life to the surface where it shines.
– John B. Lee, Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford in perpetuity, Poet Laureate of Norfolk County for life
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Time held a powerful sway over me each time I went back to Gutteridge’s poems and let them work their magic on me. I could not resist reading each of them aloud, savoring the sound, sensation, and sensuality of those words forming each piece, delighting in how they fitted together like cunningly crafted puzzle boxes. While the poems in Parts II and III are marvelous, it is those childhood memories so vividly realized and rendered in Part I that speak most powerfully to me. The Blue Flow Below is powerful and haunting, revealing so much of the man who crafted each piece so lovingly. It’s gorgeous and lyrical, and a sheer delight to read.