Posted: April 28, 2014
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
In these poems, daydreams commingle with reality, life and death are
interwoven, and always there is an ethereal beauty-even in the midst of
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