The Trees Delete Themselves Inside a Fog-Sphere

By Francis Ponge 1899–1988 Francis Ponge

Translated By Karen Volkman Read the translator's notes

In the fog which surrounds the trees, the leaves are stripped—leaves defaced already by slow oxidation, deadened by the sap's out-seeping for flowers' and fruits' gain, since the harsh heats of August made of them a less.

In the bark, vertical furrows crease and slit where dampness drains to the earth's base, indifferent to the living citizens of the trunk.

Flowers scattered, fruit conferred. Since youth, this relinquishing of breathing attributes and body parts has become for the trees a standard practice.

Source: Poetry (April 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2008
 Francis  Ponge

Biography

Francis Ponge has been called “the poet of things” because simple objects like a plant, a shell, a cigarette, a pebble, or a piece of soap are the subjects of his prose poems. For Ponge, all objects “yearn to express themselves, and they mutely await the coming of the word so that they may reveal the hidden depths of their being,” as Richard Stamelman explained it in Books Abroad. David Gascoyne, a contributor to Reference Guide . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION France

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