Page 41 - September 2020
P. 41


                                           NS: At the end of your poem “My father’s Wristwatch,” the watch
                                           stops after 75 minutes, and you put it back in the drawer, saying
                                           that “Someone else can decide.” What is the symbolic significance
                                           of this “old watch resurrected from the dead?” What does it tell us
                                           about  your  view  of  and  relationship  with  literary  and  cultural

                                           Niels Hav: The biggest mystery in life is that time passes. Sooner
                                           or later you discover the clock that counts the seconds inside the
                                           body and you can’t stop it, time trots briskly ahead. My father was
                                           a farmer and sexton (he looked after the graveyard in the village),
                                           he died many years ago. In my drawer I have his wristwatch as a
                                           physical memory, and a reminder to myself: our time with flesh on
                                           our bones is so short. Now everything happens on the run, helter-
                                           skelter, and unprecedented changes happen every day – you know
                                           the feeling. Life turns unexpected corners and surprises us all the
                                           time. None of us understand exactly what’s going on, words flicker
                                           through  the  brain  like  deep  water  fish;  they  constantly  shift
                                           colours. We bustle around like critters. There’s something we want
                                           and  something  we  must  do.  My  father's  wristwatch  is  old  and
                                           useless, but some primitive feelings cling to it and I can’t throw it
                                           away.  In  that  way  my  poems  live  on  facts  and  feelings  and  the
                                           irony  of  life  -  and  balance  between  memories  and  hopes  for  the
                                           future. I want to bring all kinds of heritage with me and to stay with
                                           the kids and their spicy expectations.

        NS: In a recent interview, you stated that “there’s rarely real money
        in poetry” and “there isn’t either much poetry in money.” In other
        words,  you  believe  that  to  some  extent  poetry  and  money  are
        mutually exclusive. Could you say more about this idea? Also could
        you tell us how is this idea reflected in your own poetry?

        Niels  Hav:  A  fine  question,  humor  is  needed  when  dealing  with
        poetry. If you are waiting for a train full of money you are on the
        wrong  platform.  There  are  outstanding  poets  who  live  and  die  in
        poverty, we all know that. Money is an obsession in this epoch, a
        disease in the brain of our culture, but the chances of making real
        money on poetry are slim. Poetry and money are like fire and water,
        they have nothing in common. Of course you can't say that poetry
        and  richness  are  mutually  exclusive,  but  it's  about  focus.  The
        fairytale might flourish in a poor hut, while the billionaire is turning
        gray in fear of losing his worthless privileges.

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