LES PENSEES

LES PENSEES:              LUCIENNE HOLLAND McKAY & ANN VICTORY
Posted:  April 28, 2014

Les Pensees: The Thoughts of Lucienne Hollard McKay She survived war when her family did not, battled for liberty with the
French Underground, and fell in love with an American doctor in Paris. And
throughout her too-short lifetime, she recorded her innermost thoughts and
impressions with intensely personal poems.
The daughter of a French physician, Lucienne Hollard McKay's poetry reflects
many of her thoughts, her moods, her intimations. In them one finds pain as
well as gaiety; and fantasy, delight, and ecstasy.
Tremendously personal, the poems are set down in the author's native French
and were never intended for publication.
To honor Lucienne's memory after her passing, her husband selected more than
fifty of these poems to share with the world. They appear herein, filled
with all the nuances and delicate iridescence of their original expression.
Translated with dedicated friendship by Lilian Polk, the English poems
appear side-by-side, next to the romantic language in which they were
created.
In these poems, daydreams commingle with reality, life and death are
interwoven, and always there is an ethereal beauty-even in the midst of
tragedy.
Lucienne Hollard knew the mighty and the lowly, enjoyed the society of the
famous, and worked closely with the nameless ones of the French Underground
during World War II. Everywhere her life took her, she remained a dauntless
spirit with an unbounded verve for whatever life brought. No other memorial
could conceivably preserve, as if still alive, the exquisite personality of
its author.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
I normally don’t read poems but something caught my attention when I was looking at books. Most of these poems were written at a time when she was living in France under German occupation. Her parents had been killed and she was living with relatives. These poems are translated from French to English so I hope they don’t miss too much in the translation. She also started writing them when she was in her early teens, not knowing if she was going to live or die. Two of the ones that really stood out for me was one about her mother. That she wrote on mother’s day. Expressing her disappointment in not having her mother their but knowing that if she could one day make it out and find love that her mother would always be with her. The other one was on Easter morning about forgiveness and how Christ dying on the cross and then rising from the dead that she has hope, faith that she will see her love ones one day in heaven. I am not doing either one of these poems the true feeling she wrote with. But these are some great poems short but very moving in a time when she was looking for something to keep her going to the next day her writing was it. A very moving book of poems. I got this book from net galley.

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