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Synopsis

Francis Ponge boldly proclaims his poetic goal in Mute Objects of Expression: "To accept the challenge that objects offer to language." These objects—less chosen than received spontaneously—are perceived with inimitable Pongean humor and rendered into glimmering still lifes. He gives voice to the often unnoticed aspects of natural objects and beings. Shunning familiar poetic modes, Ponge forges new visions, images drawn from nature, from mythology and the classics. In this volume, springing from the Loire countryside in the early 1940s, Ponge’s "prôems" recall the violent perfume of the mimosa, the cries of carnations, and the flirtations of wasps. From a small note- book, his sole supply of paper withinthe wartime deprivations, he composes repeated drafts of an innovative form combining poetry with analysis and impish play. Despite the demoralizing clouds of Occupation, Ponge wrests a soaring paean to his beloved sliver of Provence.

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