Page 44 - September 2020
P. 44


             NS: How do evaluate poetry festivals?

             Niels Hav: We writers are individualists, most of the time we are glancing at the wall
             at  home  as  a  lonely  robber  in  the  desert.  Festivals  is  a  chanse  to  meet  with
             colleagues  and  share  dreams  and  ideas.  Every  business  needs  this  kind  of
             professional  venues.  Symposia  of  any  sort  is  an  ancient  tradition.  You  meet  new
             authors,  new  texts  and  issues.  And  the  poems  are  meeting  a  new  audience  who
             gets  the  chance  to  hear  the  text  read  in  the  author's  own  voice.  The  fact  is  that
             poetry is related to music, and often the tone and the poet's appearance can be the
             key to a deeper understanding. A good festival can be a magical place - sometimes
             it's  like  being  inside  a  UFO,  glowing  and  pervaded  by  metaphysics.  Everyone
             returns home with their heads swimming full of inspiring new impressions. That's
             the ideal festival, of course there are also less successful variants, which quickly
             disappears into merciful oblivion.

             NS:  Your  poetry  has  been  translated  into  several  languages,  including  Arabic.
             Could you give us some details about this?

             Niels Hav: Danish is one of the smaller languages, so it's a pleasure to be translated
             and see the poems thrive in other regions. It has in particular been a joy for me to
             get  in  touch  with  Arab  readers  who  have  such  a  rich  tradition  for  poetry  of  high
             quality. When I sit with an Arabic newspaper, I can only "understand" the photos.
             I’m  trapped  in  the  Latin  alphabet.  Many  Arab  writers  have  the  advantage  over
             European colleagues, they are able to read two alphabets. I don't know if Arabs are
             more intelligent than the Europeans, maybe they just are more curious. In English
             Per K. Brask and Patrick Friesen have been working with my stuff for many years,
             they initially made it possible for the poems to cross borders. My Arabic book is
             translated by Jamal Juma, who himself is a fine poet. My friend Salim Abdali has
             translated a few texts - and you dear Nizar have translated some new poems, I am
             profoundly grateful for this. Translators are alchemists who make a heroic effort:
             they perform the impossible.

             NS: Ababil has published four of your poems translated into Araic. I am sure Arab
             readers would like to read more. Could you grant us at least one more poem?

             Niels  Hav:  Yes,  thank  you,  I  would  be  happy  to  end  with  a  poem.  It  has  been  a
             pleasure to exchange thoughts and ideas with you.

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