Giordano Bruno was burnt alive
for maintaining that the cosmos is infinite
and without a midpoint.
But according to what the bag lady said
he was right, I have seen a UFO
full of angels land in the cemetery.
Maybe it's something I dreamt
but they came out carrying their grand pianos and trumpets
and played a concert on Carl Nielsen's grave.
It was ten degrees below that night and I figured
I was dead. But when I woke up and the sun rose
all the graves were covered with feathers.
Translated by P. K. Brask
to Le Sacre du printemps
Just before five they leave the discotheque
heavy rock whispering in their blood streams
deaf and mute in the sudden silence
where to go?
The city listens with its luminous ear
turned toward the cosmos.
They guide their bicycles through the street, chatting for hours
later they make love on a bench by the harbour
while the couple in the grey Porsche surrender their discussion
and scream there last vehemence
into the windshield. A woman walks quickly through the park
utterly naked this time of year.
"Scarlet fever" said the doctor on night duty.
"The bird of fire" she whispers
Translated by P. K. Brask & Patrick Friesen
Niels Hav is a full time poet and short story writer living in Copenhagen. He has already established himself as a contemporary Nordic voice with poetry and fiction published in numerous journals and anthologies in e.g. English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Dutch, Chinese. But it is in Canada in particular that he has made his mark outside Denmark. An English collection of his poetry, God's Blue Morris, was published by Crane Editions in 1993, with a second collection, entitled We Are Here, put out by Book Thug of Toronto in 2006. Both of them translated con amore by Patrick Friesen and Per K. Brask. Most recently a selection of Niels Hav's poetry, U Odbranu Pesnika, has appeared in Serbian translation, published by RAD, Belgrade 2008.