Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Voices of Things” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Voices of Things
Francis Ponge
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Voices of Things

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  140 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Published in 1942 and considered the keystone of Francis Ponge's large body of work, Le parti pris des choses appears here in its entirety as The Nature of Things .Ponge's first full volume, it reveals his preoccupation with nature and its metaphoric transformation through the creative ambiguity of language. Language is both subject and means. For all the critical analysis ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 1st 1974 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published 1967)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Voices of Things, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Voices of Things

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 388)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ben Loory
Feb 24, 2009 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i was about halfway through this, and really liking it, when i got to "notes for a sea shell" and was hit by the sudden realization that THIS BOOK IS FUCKING AWESOME!

it's hard to describe what ponge is doing here. he's writing very short semi-scientific prose poem essays about natural objects. descriptions, mainly. rain. pebbles. candle. snail. they're a little bit like haiku, but much longer and for the most part with no formal structure. also, they're not impressionistic at all, but pretty muc
Nov 22, 2013 Enrico rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poesia
Ma chi è veramente Ponge? E cosa aspira a trasmettere un titoletto così poco accattivante?
La risposta alla prima delle due domande ambirà forse ad essere banale: Ponge è un poeta: ma davvero?; la seconda infine, illuminante sotto molti aspetti si rivelerà non appena si inumidirà la punta del naso fra le pagine di questo libricino. In barba ai poeti metafisici, di cui, probabilmente, Ponge fu il barbiere, questa raccolta rivolge tutta la propria attenzione alle piccole cose, all'intrinseca mangia
Apr 25, 2016 Ying rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wish i could have read this in its original french.. i felt an immense swell of care in me when i read 'mollusk' and 'pebble.' in lieu of my feeble words, here is 'mollusk'--

the mollusk is a being - almost a quality. it doesn't need a
skeleton, just a rampart; something like a paint tube.
nature has abandoned all hope here of shaping plasma. she
merely shows her attachment by carefully sheltering it in a jewel
case, more beautiful inside than out.
so it's not just a gob of spit; but a truly precious
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Reading Ponge's Soap many years ago turned me into a lifelong fan. Lee Fahnestock's translation of his first book seems both fluid and graceful.
May 19, 2008 P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moss rum!
Jun 08, 2013 M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ponge is a repeatedly interesting poet to me, if, at times, I feel like there's no way into his work. Being a cornerstone of his praxis, this slim volume is fascinating as it presents the moment of Ponge's solidity into French poetry--there's a sort of diversion from the idea of this being such a phenomenological text for me, I think, as perhaps my idea of phenomenology is distracted by being an idea that exists in 2013 instead of in 1940 or so, when this book was initially published and made wa ...more
Apr 03, 2007 Conrad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy, poetry
I borrowed a copy of this book from a high school teacher I had, and sadly have not found another one, but Ponge's work is fascinating. Each of the prose poems in here is devoted to a common household object, which he tries to look at in as fresh a way as possible, describing what it is not, other objects it looks like, etc. Sounds banal, but every single poem in here will surprise you with unforeseen connections. I need to track this down.
Aug 05, 2009 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while, amidst generally accomplished writing, something jumps out and grabs onto part of you perhaps never vociferated or thought long dead. A testament to literary diligence and, like most anthologies (thought perhaps more distilled), echoes the elations and disappointments, dynamics of sensation, better than any consistent, preconceived narrative ever could.

Long->short: read "The Pebble" if nothing else.
Dec 04, 2007 S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
Pure. Gorgeous. Prose poems about ordinary things that make them deeply interesting.
Ena Alvarado
Ena Alvarado marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
Rich marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
Pascale rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2016
Yu marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Sailor marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Josh marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2016
LeeAnn marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2016
Jason Cominetto
Jason Cominetto marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2016
Larry marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2016
Alexander Lobov
Alexander Lobov marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
Liza St. James
Liza St. James is currently reading it
Apr 17, 2016
Lea added it
Apr 21, 2016
Emma marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2016
Dacota P.
Dacota P. rated it really liked it
Apr 14, 2016
Zachary rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2016
Thomas marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2016
Frank rated it liked it
Apr 16, 2016
Cat Lilly
Cat Lilly rated it it was amazing
Apr 12, 2016
Kelly marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2016
Warren rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2016
Katerin rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Selected Poems
  • Autumn Sonata: Selected Poems
  • Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania
  • Some Thing Black
  • New Collected Poems
  • Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology, 1927-1984
  • The Book of Questions: Volume I [I. The Book of Questions, II. The Book of Yukel, III. Return to the Book]
  • Selected Poetry and Prose
  • The Random House Book of 20th Century French Poetry
  • Complete Poems
  • Roman Poems
  • Watchfiends and Rack Screams: Works from the Final Period
  • The Lost Lunar Baedeker: Poems of Mina Loy
  • The Book of Masks: An Anthology of French Symbolist & Decadent Writing (Atlas Arkhive, #2)
  • Capital of Pain
  • Threadsuns
  • The Collected Books
  • Four Questions of Melancholy: New and Selected Poems
Francis Jean Gaston Alfred Ponge was a French essayist and poet. Influenced by surrealism, he developed a form of prose poem, minutely examining everyday objects.
More about Francis Ponge...

Share This Book