In recent months I've enjoyed an internet correspondence with Danish poet Niels Hav. Seeing my name on-line, Hav immediately spotted a kinship. (Meanwhile here in the states, I continue to be plagued by people who must think I'm a Swede or Norwegian who doesn't know how to spell his own name.) Hav recently made a brief reading tour in the U.S., which I was sad to miss. Reports indicate that he met with a warm reception when reading in New York. We've done what all poets do, exchange books. I'm sorry to report that none of my work has ever been translated into Danish, but there is a new selection of Hav's poetry in English, WE ARE HERE, available from Book Thug in Toronto. The poems were translated by Patrick Friesen and P.K. Brask. Hav notes, in thanking his translators, that "Danish is a small language spoken by only 5-6 million people." I suspect at least 4 million of those people are Nielsens.
Here, from WE ARE HERE, is "Epigram":
You can spend an entire life
in the company of words
not ever finding
the right one.
Just like a wretched fish
wrapped in Hungarian newspapers.
For one thing it is dead,
for another it doesn't understand