Reviews & Commentaries. . .
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Dan Monceaux
© DANimations 2002


.  poetry’s fourth element - song, which firmly places Šimkutė as a lyricist, a spinner of a new daina (song). . . .takes pantheistic concept a step further . . . . . . picturing “the women from Samogitia” at work in the rye fields. . . .recreating the land as a “song”: Šimkutė uses the word daina in the Lithuanian version of the poem (16), indicating how deeply rooted these women are in their native land and culture, how elemental is their activity, going back further than any page of recorded history.
Each of these women is one of the Moerae, fate-spinners, soul-singers, and their falling cadences echo right throughout the book.

 Edward Reilly –  review extract read in Melbourne book launch - Australia, Dec 6, 2009.
May 2010 - USA; Naujoji Romuva“ No 1. 2010 - Lithuania


Thought and Rock compares two elements. Thought drifts through air is non-
and thought - an earth element, hard, unchanging - reflects idea and form. Primordial elements are intrinsic in all of Šimkutė‘s poetry but on each occasion bring about another experience.In her poetry time disappears, and space becomes an abstract unatainable distance.“Space gives the words their sound“ extending to infinity. the importance of silence, allusion to mystery and the ipossiblity of expressing all.. space is as important as words. Space is the centre of power from where unfolds infinite meaning.

 Jolanta Sereikaitė – “Šiaurės Atėnai”  - Lithuania,  Dec.11, 2009


Šimkutė has a light, minimalist touch. She makes considered use of the silence of white space, and though compressed, understated language, her poems tend to evoke more than might be expected from such sparce lines.

Cameron Fuller- re Thought and Rock, Wet Ink“, Australia, June, 2009


.the book is poetically homogeneous and, consistently minimalist in form.Economy of phrase, restraint of lyrical expression and attention given to sensual (visual) imagery reminds one of imagist poetry or haiku where “silence" extends between words or other associations - in compliance with the Buddhist wisdom, that the essence of all visible things is emptiness.

 J. Andrezej Dorobek - re Thought and Rock, Goscinec Sztuki,  Nr.1/13, Poland,  2009


 . her poems seem to be woven from mist or sparkling sun‘s rays and as a contrast, highlight the Lightness of spiritual matter and the material mass of rock .  .The mentioned space concepts and substances (emptiness, light, radiance) meaningfully complement the category of time and give Šimkutė‘s poems  a dynamic impression and the feeling of existential fragility.

 Regimantas Tamošaitis - re Thought and Rock  “Metai”  (Seasons) No.11 Lithuania  , 2008.


. . . .poems of remarkable purity, written in a spirit of receptiveness to the world in which the poetic insight suddenly emerges like a bird taking wing.

J. M. Coetzee   forward to  Mintis ir uola  / Thought and Rock - Lithuania.  2008.


Only by reading the poems carefully it‘s possible to appreciate the beauty of the text. The poems need to be meditated on as one obtains another level of understading. The reader is uplifted and transcended into a metaphoric space, and touches on the secret of living when the world appears dumbfounded. . .there‘s echoes of pagan rituals in the poems, whereas the importance of contemplatve permeability is close to Eastern expereince.

Ramutė Dragenytė  -  from presentation read at Lithuanian Writers Union,
                                                                                                               Vilnius -Lithuania,  September, 2007.


 Some poems in their feeling and image leaps and unexpected connections remind us of the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. .   poetry is likewise personal, confirms the unity of nature and our being, an inner freedom and openness to the world.  . . .in understanding that the world surrounding us and within us is a mystery and recurrent in the eternal life cycle.

S.Katkauskaitė –  re Wind Sheen  „ Tėviškės žiburiai“ – Canada,  July 24, 2007


. . . . .renowned for its minimal accents, aestheticism and striving towards universal knowledge through personal experience. . .  reading of eternal signs. . . united by light – a non-earthly shine.  Similar parameters dominate the poet‘s feelings of space. . centered around emptiness, death‘s nucleus (at the same time birth or the beginning).  It‘s an original way of composing space via the mandala principal. Small things which open to cosmic dimensions interest Šimkute. . . . .a Zen world outlook.

Imelda Vedrickaitė  - re Vėjo žvilgesys / Wind Sheen. “Naujoji Romuva“- Lithuania,
                                                                                                     No.3, 2005  „Draugas“ - USA, Nov. 18. 2006.


. . in some poems it is difficult to determine a point of reference, but some of these come alive at new levels of understanding upon multiple readings. One such poem is Lidija Šimkutė’s “When Eyes” which is enigmatic, emotive and written with economy. To hear it read aloud – incredibly slowly – is to feel the depth of its emotion immerse the listener.

Debra ZottFriendly Street 27, Wakefield Press, 2003,JAS Review of Book” , 
                                                             Australia, July, 2006


Her poems are a key to the poet’s world - her inner world ponderings, love, spiritual longing, philosophical allusions, transience of life. . . . . insight into
the various times and moods of nature filtered through the poet's inner eye. . . Lidija’s poetry beguiles the reader with its pristine metaphors, emotional depth.'

Isolde Požėlaitė - Davis re Wind Sheen, from: culture, Jan. 2005 .


 . . . intimate miniatures, original and expressive with a philosophical spiritual tendency. The author, subtlety and precisely creates an original “metaphysical landscape”. Having a sound knowledge of both languages  allows the author free reign to integrate the original with the translation.

 Antanas A. Jonynas  -  forward for  Vėjo Žvilgesys / Wind Sheen, 2003.


. . . feeling of mystery. .a person becomes as strong as the sea in Šimkutė’s poetry and is the reflection of the cosmos…the journey from sea to earth is a ritual return from life to death; earth, as all the important elements from which she weaves her symbols. It’s a place of reconciliation and identification, attempts to give meaning  to silence, creates an ecstatic premise to guide us to the world of gods through poetry‘s rhythm and vision.

 Imelda Vedrickaitė  From Near and Far translated from "Literature and Art" –                                        Lithuania,  July 23, 2003.


       . . .a series of signs which can be connected to and echoes Baltic mythologies of Fate and Self-renewal.. grounded in assumption of a persona which is both lover and beloved and transformed in the process of the “making” of the text.'

Edward Reilly –  from presentation of paper at Red River Conference on World
. USA, April, 2002.


. . . has inbuilt subtle introspection, laconic simplicity and lyrical overtones. The experience of love is    developed as the pinnacle of being. The centre of poetry is grounded in an elated feeling for beauty and  oneness with the harmony of the world.  Affirming „truth bronze cast from feeling“  the poet metamorphoses feelings in ambiguous implications, to which she attempts to give multidimensional meanings.

Vytautas Kubilius   from Lithuanian Literature Encyclopaedia, 2001.


In her first book The Second Longing one can feel the influence of C.G. Jung psychoanalysis.  A belief that higher powers effect a person‘s fate. Spaces are left in the poems so as to allow this power to have its effect

Viktorija Daujotytė "Written by Women",  Alma Littera, Vilnius, - Lithuania, 2001.


Poetic miniatures, filled with quietude, open to silence, marked by an aversion to excessive commentary. Šimkutė is destined to exist in two cultures, their mutual reverberation. Her readings in Lithuanian uncover a powerful pulse. . . an echo that steers to the eternal viewing tower. . . . . . .hermetic and painfully direct: features that paradoxically integrate her poetry.

Ostap Slivinskyj  –  “Progress” , Lviv  / Ukraine, Aug.2001.


. . . Šimkutė‘s poetry moves on the border of disappearance like a Buto dancer above an abyss. The poems strike faster than thought. Like totems, masks, and like the cyclical, non-linear music of Lithuania, they evoke a world which is ancient, young and utterly old. They do without wordplay, idiosyncrasy and extravaganza. They are essences and formulas.. . . . her poetry possesses a form of polyvalence that is found in mystical language.

Christian Loidl  - “Kultūros Barai,  winter, 1997, from forward to “Weisse Schatten /
White Shadows, 2000.

.. . . .unique in contemporary Australian writing. [Her poems] make no great appeal for attention to the writer's sentiments; they seem to be perfectly poised enunciations of the mystery and the wonder of being alive.'

Michael Sharkey re Spaces of Silence from "Ulitiarra"  -  Australia,  No17/18, 2000.


. . . .strong in their gossamer-like texture. The poems 'alight in our palm'  for keeping. They have the fragility,  yet the materiality & sureness of an eggshell of a young bird.

Moya Costello    re Spaces of Silence from "Sidewalk" No 6,  Adelaide/ Australia,  2000.


Šimkutė works with as much space and silence as with words; her poems are full of interstices through which light shines.. works at the edge of what cannot be expressed. Her words have a shining simplicity and precision.

David Malouf from forward to Tylos erdvės  /Spaces of Silence , Vilnius / Lithuania,1999 .


. . . . essential difference between a poet who entertains and the poet who cares. Her poetry is substantially political, it undermines the madness which is inherently a product of the capitalist system. It puts value on something that many would regard as worthless.'   

Richard Hillman re Spaces of Silence from “Sidewalk” No 4, Australia, 1999.


. . . .her voice is silence, space, mystery, meditative utterances, subdued passion and hypnotic, a total assurance and doubt, earth-destined whispers seeking the Cosmos.

Valentinas Sventickas  re Spaces of Silence,  “Dienovidis”  Vilnius, No. 24, 1999.


. . . .a pagan sense of sacredness of nature, body and speech, with a unity of sensuality and spirituality. Her poetry draws its magic from tension between feeling-strength and mystery.

Christian Loidl –  Limes”, Vienna / Austria, Jan. 1995;    “Vilnius”  - Lithuania, winter, 1997.


. . . .qualities of the poems are simplicity, economy, and intensity. Few poets compress their perception as well as she does in some of her poems.. . . epigrams have a power of suggestion and delicacy we have learned to expect from the most skillful practitioners of haiku. A distinctive voice. . . . she’s fortunate in being able to give English form to her original Lithuanian poems.

Judith Rodriguez from comments for grant application, Melbourne / Australia, 1996.


. . . . the tactile and the spiritual in a single phrase. .balance between sensuous details and ethereality.. .deeply felt and thought-out poetry. . . works with a subject area, a point of view, and a voice that are unique in Australian literature. Her style, too, is highly individual combining spontaneity with a fine discrimination of diction and tone.

Jan Owen from comments for grant application, Adelaide / Australia, 1995-96.