Alfred Nicol


Proposed Statue of the Dominican Dictator, Rafael Trujillo

The Boll Weevil Monument in downtown Enterprise, Alabama,
commemorates the pest that devastated their fields
for its profound influence on their agriculture and economy.

Like Alabama did with its boll weevil,
we ought to build a monument (Hurray!)
to thank that man of tyranny and evil
for sending Rhina Espaillat our way.
And if, alas, this statue makes her frown
(I fear it may),
it should be loads of fun to tear it down!

First published by the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival

Alfred Nicol was the recipient of the 2004 Richard Wilbur Award for his first book of poems, Winter Light. His other publications include Animal Psalms and Elegy for Everyone, and his poems have appeared in Poetry, The New England Review, The Dark Horse, Commonweal, The Formalist, The Hopkins Review, and The Best American Poetry 2018. Nicol’s translation of One Hundred Visions of War by Julien Vocance, published in November, 2022, has been called “an essential addition to the history of modernist poetry.”