Thursday, March 08, 2007

Like a Sponge, or rather, Ponge...

Francis Ponge

Just finished The Dictionary of Poetic Terms -- the first dictionary I have ever read from cover to cover (and very likely the last.) As I wrote here, it was a highly enjoyable read. Now I do indeed know everything there is to know about poetry. No need to read more, write more, or blog about it here -- ha ha, of course, not true. Indeed, as a parting shot, as if to purposely highlight my ignorance, in a lengthy entry on Vision (metaphorical sense), the dictionary made reference to one Francis Ponge (whom I had never heard of), whose The Voice of Things exemplifies a type of vision that "elevates and makes sublime lowly objects." This aroused my curiosity. I looked him up, and found some very interesting exerpts here. It seems he wrote prose poems -- a form that I've been writing in over the last couple of years (examples here and here). In The Voice of Things, his focus is on objects -- a potato, an orange, a cigarette -- so closely and accurately described that they do indeed become magical, totemic. Here's a visual interpretation of his prose poem Rain. Quite an experience! I ended up ordering a translation and the French original. I also ordered H.D.'s Selected, cited under Vorticism. I've wanted to read more H.D. for years.

1 comment:

Andrew Shields said...

Ponge and H.D., now that is an interesting pairing! Two quite different poets on the surface, but H.D.'s mysticism is always grounded in a strong physicality, and Ponge's focus on objects has an undercurrent of mysticism.