Niels Hav – Dying is not a fringe benefit

Niels Hav is a Danish poet and short story writer with awards from The Danish Arts Council. He is the author of six collections of poetry and three books of short fiction. He has travelled widely and participated in numerous international poetry festivals Europe, Asia, Africa , North and South America. He has frequently been interviewed by the media. His books have been translated into many languages including English, Arabic, Turkish, Dutch, Farsi, Serbian, Albanian, Kurdish and Chinese. His second English poetry collection, We Are Here, was published by Book Thug in Toronto, and his poems and short stories have been published in a large number of journals, magazines, and newspapers in different countries of the world.
Niels Hav was raised on a farm in western Denmark, today he resides in the most colourful and multiethnic part of the capital, Copenhagen.


Dying is not a fringe benefit

People die wherever it suits them
in traffic, on the sidewalk, in a war.
Spontaneous deaths occur around the clock.

Most people prefer, reasonably,
to die in their spare time, in this way
avoiding any loss of pay.
He who permits himself to die
immediately forfeits
the right to overtime, mileage
and per diem (now when this would really

Come in handy). It’s expensive to live,
but dying is usually also
bad business.


© Niels Hav
Translated by Heather Spears

 

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