Alfred Nicol

Julien Vocance

White Wooden Crosses, Julien Vocance: Translated by Alfred Nicol

Haiku From Cent Visions de Guerre

Des croix de bois blanc
Surgissent du sol,
Chaque jour, çà et là.

White wooden crosses
come up from the ground, here
and there, every day.

Translated by Alfred Nicol


Alfred Nicol’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The New England Review, Dark Horse, Commonweal, The Formalist, The Hopkins Review, and The Best American Poetry 2018. His publications include Animal Psalms (Able Muse, 2016); Elegy for Everyone (Prospero’s World Press, 2009); Winter Light (The University of Evansville Press, 2004) winner of the Richard Wilbur Award); and Brief Accident of Light: Poems of Newburyport, a collaboration with Rhina P. Espaillat (Kelsay Books, 2019).

Julien Vocance was one of the first French poets to use the Japanese poetry form haiku. Traditionally, the syllabic form focused on nature and simplicity. Vocance used it to show the emotion and experience of World War I.