Reviews & Commentaries. . .

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Dan Monceaux
© DANimations 2002


I was overcome by a joyous feeling in coming across….two masterpieces ”The Fisherman Hum” and “Rye Field Faces”. . .after leafing through Mayan, Chinese porcelain,  NYC, cacti images and then suddenly. . . . .a feel and taste of Lithuanian clabber and potatoes with salt nets creaking.

 Kęstutis Urba -  re Thought and Rock,  „Draugas”, - USA,   Dec.12, 2009


It seems that the dominant theme in the collection reflects untamed nature – motives symbolizing the freedom of body and spirit. Frequently the accent is given to elemental and nature object correlations which allude to Eastern oneness. . . . .

 Rasa Čergelienė – re Thought and Rock, “Nemunas”  - Lithuania, Feb 19, 2009


 . .the main accent falls on the word, its magic power and the sound of its deep meaning. The poet is not concerned with expanding metaphors and the sensual concreteness of the image, but with actualization of meaning, a magical denomination of things. . ..the poet actualizes not the physical reality of the word and the psychological reality of the human, but points to the meta- physical foundations of this reality, and directs thoughts towards the metaphysical space of existence.

 Regimantas Tamošaitis - re Thought and Rock, “Vilnius Review”, Lithuania,
                                                                                                    Autumn/winter, 2008


  . . . .wanting to see the radiance one must clear or scrub one’s over cluttered mind in order to feel, understand the depth of the poetry. And READ with attention and a number of times.

 Dalia Markavičienė re Thought and Rock,  “Mūsų žodis” –
                                                                                    Literatas, Lithuania, Aug. 5, 2008


 To write simply and artistically is not easy, particularly if one writes in two languages. This is something I became aware of after reading Lidija Šimkutė’s bilingual collection “Mintis ir uola / Thought and Rock”

Pranas Visvydas - re Thought and Rock,  from „Draugas” Nov. U.S.A., 2008


 . . . . .It seems, that Lithuanian mythical consciousness and spirit returns to Lithuania  from overseas, which we, living in our own country, have forgotten.

 Vytautas Germanavičius (composer)- www.bernardinaiLt     2008. Comment re interview.


  Her poetry is prudent in words and non irksome symbols.. . . . another world conception and experience. Many short poems – like epitaphs. Only two lines – but all is said.

 Zita Paulauskaitė from “Žemaičių saulutė”,  Lithuania,  July 26,  2008.


 . . .speaks directly and immediately, through symbols and metaphors. . penetrates, creating distance and at the same time is close at hand. . .strives towards the absolute and finds solace in humanity and nature. It’s the soul working undecipherable in logical terms, but  felt intuitively through silence.. .. mystical gates that lead to the other world and a space of searching - discovery and encompasses eternity through an instant.

Vaiva Bylaitytė extract from presentation read at Čiurlionis House in Vilnius -                                                                                                    Lithuania, Oct., 2007m.


. . . .poems are laconic and impellent. They pierce a sensitive reader’s heart like William Tell’s arrow, an apple.  The poems zoom past while the echo of their flight remains quivering the heart strings.

Edmundas Untulis from  „Skuodas“,  Lithuania, Sept. 18, 2007


. . . Lidija Šimkutė gives the recipe in the Space – THE SPACE / in between / gives
the words / their sound
. For the most part the poems are as subtle as ghazals. . . .

Pat Jourdan – re The SHOp  “New Hope, International Review”,  Ireland, 2007.


 . . . .Šimkutė has created an original poetics of the pictorial image.

Rita Tūtlytė   -  “The Vilnius Review” autumn/winter,  Lithuania, 2005


. . . . .poetry is characterized by unexpected sounds, movements and symbols of nature. Her poems contain pristine primordial images, those mythical beings that resonate as archetypal experience. .  . .  The postmodernism of the performance was very lyrical in tune with the poetry.

Jolanta Sereikaitė  - Zen Spirit in a Poetical Performance , “Lit.& Art”, Oct. 21,2005
                                                                                                                         “Draugas”, USA, Feb. 4, 2006


. . . . .confirms the poet's capability to transform personal experience into mythological universality.

Imelda Vedrickaitė  –  re  Vėjo žvilgesys / Wind Sheen ,  "Literature and Art",
                                                                                                                                      Lithuania,  Sept., 2004


. . . . .laconic constructions. . . impressions of natural phenomena are transformed in many poems...The invocation of “you”: towards another is not concrete but seems to be drawn from memory, is desired or nameless  - a mystical approach.

Bernhard Widder re Weisse Schatten / White Shadows , “Der Standard Album”,
                                                                                                                                           Austria, Jan., 2002


. . . . .a deftly shaped collection of minimalist images . . . . . ..springs from an unconscious source, merging memory and dream with a linguistically ­ pure sense of belonging to, and understanding of, a world that is  not separated by borders or time. Her poetry is universal, accessible, and articulate .

Richard Hillman  - from reference for writers residency,  Australia, Sept. 1999


Šimkutė shares some of the characteristics of many Australian and Lithuanian poets, yet at the same time has created a singular poetics. She listens to her inner Self, constructing prayers to broken roots. . . has chosen to go inwards and connect with archaic memory and transcendence.

Edward Reilly from “Rubicon” Vol.1/1, Geelong / Australia, 1995


. . . . .exposes a woman’s soul.. .flight of thought and reserved mystery. . . .hidden understatements. A master of metaphor. . . . . gives insights into the psychology of lovers and love’s mysterious connection. What pertains to two individuals becomes a universal theme.'

Almis Juragis – re Wind and Roots,  from “Musų Pastogė” (Our Haven) No. 7, Australia, 1993


In the polemic on patriotism at „Literary papers“ re Lithuanian writing. . .  it is not declarations, not a love or longing for the homeland,, but the literary value of the work . That‘s why Šimkutė’s lyrics has more patriotic value that many verses where love of one‘s homeland is stated. . . .

Vytautas Ingautas -Kultūra“, Vilnius - Lithuania, 1991; “Mūsų pastogė“  Australia, Oct.19, 1992


In the best poems lyrical subject departs ordinary consciousness - dream and vision overtake beyond the conscious.   . intuitively makes surprising associations. Fragility, silences, illusions, laconic rhetorical questions  create an unreal and restless mood. . . . . .the author is naturally inclined to metonymical speech.'

Ričardas Pakalniškis – from “Literature  and Art” - Lithuania, Dec.14, 1991


. . . . .writing in Lithuanian, Šimkutė challenges the general drift of things in Australia; to be private rather than public, to maintain ties with the old world, read the wind’s secrets, to hold a clod of dark earth. . . .If we ignore her and others. . . .  we do so at the risk of losing the thread, of forgetting how to speak like angels.

Edward Reilly “Outrider”,  Brisbane / Australia, June, 1987


. . . . .gems of real poetry. Word hermetic sparseness and intensity of thought flow into wonderful metaphorical comparisons. Colour, feel, dynamism and philosophical implication ignite into shimmering poetry.'

Kazys Bradūnas – re Anchors of Memory  trans. from “Draugas” Chicago / USA, ? 1983


Most of the poems are written in singular second persons or plural first person, .  . . .highlights not only their intimacy but the author’s withdrawal into the fringes of a narrow circle from which the reader feels excluded.

Kęstas Reikalasre  Anchors of Memory (Prisiminimų inkarai) – „Akiračiai“, USA, Feb., 1983


. . . . .boundless theme of love entwined with numerous metaphors. ..  comparisons, laments,  feelings transform into aesthetic luminous arabesques.. softness the chaos, steers away from drama or tragedy. Original cosmos, the sky and its wide horizons are the poet’s distinct sources and architectonic foundations of her work.

  Jurgis Gliauda re Anchors of Memory,  “Tėviškės Žiburiai“ USA,  Sept. 22, 1983


. . . . .poems are short, immediate, contemplative with good intonation. She belongs to the younger exile generation, original with a peculiar nostalgia, even a type of melancholy.'

Marcelijus Martinaitis from “Spring Poetry Anthology” Lithuania, 1982


Lidija Šimkutė’s word is precise, condensed, has magical strength. . . . metaphors are original. . . . . miniatures disclose a mature poet with an original, though limited, own path.

Pranas Naujokaitis re The Second Longing (Antrasis ilgesys), “Tėviškės Žiburiai”,
                                                                                                                                                USA, Feb.,1980


. . . . .hermetic, illusory and introverted requiring the reader’s concentration. . . . likes to overload each word with the burden of multi meanings and colour them with paradoxical epitaphs.

Kęstas Reikalas - re The Second Longing (Antrasis ilgesys)- Akiračiai, USA, No 5 (109), 1979.