Review "Journeys in Dreams and Imagination"
Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Artur Lundkivst, Swedish poet and Nobel panelist, at age 75 suffered a massive heart attack while delivering a lecture. He lay in a coma for six weeks. Journeys in Dreams and Imagination is the result of the time he lay in a coma – a series of prose poems that document what he saw and experienced while his body was unavailable to him. They are not revelatory. They are full of imagery and symbol, yet there is a tediousness about them.
Many are beautifully written and observed; when he writes about the noon hour and the creation of Pan, or when he talks of the experience of death encroaching. Still through this ordeal, Lundkivst remains an atheist. Even though he relates what many would consider spiritualistic experiences during his coma, he maintains death is simply a darkness we do not return from.
This is the problem for me. This pragmatism in the face of great mysteries. I had a friend who called me breathless, his voice full of wonder. He had been in the hospital, he confessed. He had gone into the emergency room after experiencing an attack. Then he described his out of body experience as the hospital staff were working at reviving him. Something magical had happened to my friend and he was in awe. I want the awe in the face of blackness, not the image of the ever lengthening shadow of your gravestone, however prettily described. But this is the experience of a man who travelled to the other side to report that there is nothing there after getting past the dreams, it is only your imagination.
Arthur Bruso © 2018