War casts long shadows across post-1945 Norwegian literature, and the work of Gunvor Hofmo should be read from the perspective of a broken reality. But Gunvor Hofmo’s poetry is not based purely on the experience of war and post-war; it deals just as much with human conflicts linked to body and gender. Her literary output projects a polarised and dissonant world picture in which the child and the woman are under the man, and the poet is under God.The world is not the only thing to be laid in ruins in her writings – the body is too. Her first five collections not only presented the suffering, but also the passion. The next fifteen not only show the sacrifice of the body, but also the poetry of the soul. From the pain of the body there rises a voice of poetry. This dialectical tension between soul and body is the essence of Gunvor Hofmo’s poetry.