Review 4 star
Not on Amazon
When the Dark is Light Enough: Elegies for Anne is a book of approximately 70 poems by Don Gutteridge that praise his late wife of over fifty years and describe his memories of their life together. The emphasis is on their romance and above all the emotional intimacy and closeness that they shared. Many of the poems deal with nostalgia and flashback to important moments throughout the years, while others are reflective accounts of sorrow in the aftermath of her passing. Some of the most notable poems include “Bouquet,” a tender and beautiful romantic poem; “Big Town,” a wistful recall of fun times together; and “Embarcation,” which recounts how he found his wife had died.
Don Gutteridge is excellent at applying the craft of poetry to make a relationship between two real individuals become a reflection of everyone’s experiences on love and death. Anne through the verses becomes a poetic figure who represents someone that is deeply cared about and anyone suffering from loss will feel that some of their emotions have been expressed here. Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson are referenced as models for a couple of poems, but the elegiac poetry in When the Dark is Light Enough: Elegies for Anne echoes many classic poets who have written about death and love (including Milton, Shelley, and Arnold) in its unfailingly good ear for particular word choice and casting of human personalities as both abstract and specifically personal to create an intricate feeling that what has happened is not just the loss of one person, but is a universal grief that is part of the human life we all share.
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