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Hallberg Hallmundsson. Ooeda.

Reykjavik. Bru 2002. 57 pages. ISBN 9979-9474-3-8

HALLBERG HALLMUNDSSON'S Ooeada (Silence) is a very short collection of cryptic poems on the power of speech and silence, on the effect of words, and on the void left by unspoken words and thoughts. As is usual for Hallmundsson, the individual, untitled poems here are brief, often poignant, impressionistic insights into a world of sights, sounds, and silences.

Hallmundsson focuses on the riddles of silence, the thoughts veiled and hidden within the mind and heart. The second, brief poem in the collection suggests the tone and timbre of the individual poems, their focus on non-communication and the silences between words: "Words are seldom / other than jingles / Silence divides them / as a cool stream / into islands / of one's own thoughts." Ooeda amply suggests the mystery and magic in words and in the silences surrounding and separating them. Hallmundsson gives special attention to the effect of silence on social links, the ties we have to each other, and on our perceptions of the world around us.

Ooeda is a remarkable collection well worth a second and third read. The individual selections suggest the strange power of spoken words as well as the hidden, elusive, and mysterious force behind thoughts unspoken and connections lost or unmade.

Lanae Hjortsvang Isaacson

San Jose, California
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Author:Isaacson, Lanae Hjortsvang
Publication:World Literature Today
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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