This week’s topic, lost in translation, inspired one of the contest’s most poignant poems, though in this case not strictly a haiku.


“Je suis Charlie”: so

easy to confuse “I am”

with “I follow”

by Sarah Leavesley


French for “I am” is je suis. French for “I follow” is je suis. Jim Kacian, founder of the Haiku Foundation, says: “The poet has skilfully seized the catchphrase from the recent horrific event and used it as her first image — an entire mindspace arrives. It resonates with the potential calamity a simple overlap in diction might create. A startling and telling poem of much power.”

The next topic is the vocation.

Details at Send your poems to

Get alerts on Recruitment when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Follow the topics in this article