Saturday, March 30, 2013

Niels Hav

Nonsense Detector

The advantage of speaking a dialect is
that words are spoken and lived, before they are
thought and written. Dialects have no other
purpose than to handle the endless stream
of things and situations reality
is screwed together from.

All talk that isn’t about real things
is actually nonsense. And pathetic nonsense
doesn’t thrive well in a dialect.
All dialects have inbuilt nonsense detectors.
That’s why very few people with political
ambitions speak with a dialect.

For the same reason it would probably be useful
to translate some new poems into dialect.
The ones that stand up to that treatment
are prob’ly not s’bad..

Of course even in dialect
it is possible to call a shovel
a spade or a spade a shovel.
But it wouldn’t work for long.
Most people who speak a dialect
have held one in their hands.

Tr.  Per Brask & Patrick Friesen



In the dialect I spoke as a child
we couldn’t say “my love,”
“I love you” or “beautiful.”
We saw concepts like that as
expressions of hysteria;
besides, those words were too classy for us,
they didn’t suit the work clothes
we wore. Much later I learned
that beauty is a reality,
and that feelings can be expressed directly in words.
But to see yourself as a victim
is only self-delusion. Certain words
still cause difficulty.

Tr.  P.K. Brask & Patrick Friesen


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