Opinions expressed about Liv Lundberg´s poetry:
”Her poetry is serious and responsible, as well as being volourful, cloudy, hard, icy, and stony. The words are sparked off some strange inner anvil; it is like watching a woman forging horse-shoes in the icy sun. But at the back of all is a world conscience run through with the sword of horror: Who shall redeem us, how shall we be redeemed? This is a question of such depth, it is not to be expected the answer is easy to come by. But to presuppose there is no answer, is, in reality, to give an answer to the question, and certainly the wrong one.”
Sebastian Barker, poet, writer, London, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1997, from letter 1991
”In my considered opinion, this poetry has an originality and freshness that one just doesn’t encounter frequently… from the start it took my curiosity, my sense of challenge an my enery as a prospective translator ”under its wing”, but I honestly didn’t appreciate how exciting and how distinctive it was until I somehow stood face to face with it… And part of the growing fascination it inspires is that I really am
on a different wavelength from this poetry and that it can more and more ”tune” me to its own frequency: it is for me poetry of transformation, not expression.”
Louis A. Muinzer, translator, The Queen’s University of Belfast, from letter 1984
“These poems are strong, immediate and direct, with something linear and mathematically beautiful that is rare and valued in poetry… They are moving and well crafted, indeed.”
John F. Deane, poet, publisher Dedalus Press, Dublin, General Secretary of the European Academy of Poetry.
in World Literature Today,
about The Clear tone, winter 1981, by P.T. Hopper
Liv Lundberg is a young poet whose first book of poems displays some of the errors of youth. One of her poems, for example, degenerates from a fairy-tale ballad into a phsychiatric case-history. Others are flawed by vocabulary; it would take a stronger voice than Liv Lundberg´s to make poetry out of words like “structures”, “oppositions” or ” prioritize”.
But her ambitious failures of judgement accompany some ambitious sucesses. (—) Liv Lundberg is one of the poets who are trying to claim a larger realm for poetry again. For subject matter she draws upon the heathen sacrifices of ancient Scandinavia, the ecological view of Planet Earth, the music and brocades of the Renaissance, snowy nights, love and loneliness, the Alhambra, Georg Trakl and monomania. Her vocabulary also range widely, and most of her poems are sucessful in imagery and tone.
by Walter D. Morris, Iowa State University
about Double-Edged Angel, winter 1989:
The interesting, somewhat comical cover picture and the illustrations done by Johanne Marie Hansen-Krone for Liv Lundberg´s fifth collection of verse might well give the impression of a lighthearted cheerfulness, but this impression would be false. The poems are deadly serious. The title “Double-Edged Angel”, suggests the theme, which is life surrounded and conquered by death.
The book is divided into two parts: The “noise” or “clamor” of the “text”, and the “silent music” of the “context”. The first represents life in all its desire and pain, whereas the second presents the white silence of death. Part 1 deals with various subjects, sometimes jumbled together: nature, time, love, pain, fertility, reproduction, destruction, and survival. There is an intensity and sometimes a joy in the poems here, but also a “salty” taste, a consciousness of danger and a fear of the end. Part 2 is full of demons, guilt, lost loved ones, the power of death. Death surrounds everything. We are alone. Life has no answer. Death wakes us from a dream, and we are replaced by those coming after us. There is a desperation in Lundberg´s poems that paralyzes long-range action. Learning seems futile, as does everything but the immediate present. Poems are “letters, prayers, entreaties”, texts for life on death´s white context. The poet creates “sparkling, clamoring images” until silence closes his mouth. The volume is well done. The images are highly imaginative and clear, and the language carries the reader along at a good pace. It expresses well the human condition and attitude during a time of grief and mourning, when thoughts turn to death and eternity.
about Stone Dreamed, winter 1987:
When one first looks at the forty-seven short lyrics in Liv Lundberg´s fourth collection, one is tempted to think of the aftermath of a nuclear war, of cold and darkness, as one has been taught to imagine it. Indeed, Steindrømt (Stone Dreamed) does seem to be av vision of a frozen hell. However, the poems are too personal to symbolize the tragedy of world conflict. The author is concerned with herself, with her own inner life, which must be described, understood, faced, and somehow dealt with.
The firsk of the four parts of the collection describes the onset of the problem, portrayed by the changes that occur in fall, the barrenness, the leafless trees, silence, the coming of ice and snow, and accompanying darkness. The author wanders among the stones in the mountains. She tells us that these lyrics are dark poems for a cold life. Fear dominates this frozen world, and although there are dreams of bursting stars and the lighting of a fire, there seems to be no hope. Finally, however, the author descends to a point where she finds a stone upon which she can lodge her thoughts, a place to begin. Images come to her in the stone. She sees a face, her childhood, her parents, but finds only an empty future. For a moment she considers but then rejects suicide. In the midst of her regrets of the past, she gains some self-understanding, and there is the beginning of an erotic awakening.
Now the poet determines to seek only the truth without consideration of redemption. A light comes to her in the winter. She seems to have taken a fortunate turn in the mountains. She finds a path that leads her to more understanding. She achieves a look into the depths. In the last part someone is with her. The dead world begins to come to life. The sword boy who comes to her lights the fires that warm the stone. She begins to change. Even the stars melt as the daughter of stone saddles her horse to ride out in search of the light.
The format of Steindrømt follows the dominant mood of austerity. Each short poem takes up only a small part of the page. There is an economy of words. The style is almost telegraphic. Lundberg achieves an excellent contrast between the desolate, rocky background and the passion she wants to express.