Dreaming the Miracle: Three French Prose Poets: Max Jacob, Jean Follain, Francis Ponge


Baudelaire laid the foundations for prose poetry as a genre in the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the avant garde movement in the first half of the 20th century that the prose poem began a widespread emergence on the international scene. The three poets in this volume were major factors in this emergence. Max Jacob (1876–1944), a writer of surrealist cubist fables; Francis Ponge (1899–1988), a master of the language of things; and Jean Follain (1903–1971), who merged the everyday with the historical to create ...

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Baudelaire laid the foundations for prose poetry as a genre in the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the avant garde movement in the first half of the 20th century that the prose poem began a widespread emergence on the international scene. The three poets in this volume were major factors in this emergence. Max Jacob (1876–1944), a writer of surrealist cubist fables; Francis Ponge (1899–1988), a master of the language of things; and Jean Follain (1903–1971), who merged the everyday with the historical to create a world rich in anniversaries, lead us to the strong and growing interest in the genre that we find so prevalent at the beginning of the 21st century.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
From prolific novelist Keeley (School for Pagan Lovers, 1993, etc.), a sincere if somewhat uneven story about the Nazi massacre of an entire Greek village near the end of WWII, and the effort decades later to pin the deed on a prominent Austrian statesman (Kurt Waldheim by any other name). Jackson Ripaldo, a frustrated journalist-turned-mystery-writer in Washington, is called to investigate the atrocity by his old Austrian friend, Count Wittekind. Ripaldo, familiar with the part of Greece where the massacre took place, accepts the challenge and goes right to the village, where he interviews a former commander of the local resistance. The man tells him what he knows, but makes it clear that his wife knows more, since she herself worked in the Nazis' headquarters as a cleaning woman. From her, Ripaldo receives a tale of passion and torment, as she reveals that she was in love with a German medical orderly whose death she believes triggered the massacre. The plot thickens when Ripaldo goes to Austria, where he interviews the orderly's boss, a former Wehrmacht officer who tried to use the woman as a go-between with the resistance when he wanted to desert. He indicates that the orderly survived the war and came home to Austria-and, indeed, Ripaldo finds the man's house, only to learn that he died five years earlier. He left a journal, however, an account that tells Ripaldo and the Count what happened just prior to the massacre and who was responsible for ordering it. Outraged, the American publicly confronts the subject of his investigation-with predictable results. The details of individual stories are gripping and real (Keeley has also written extensively about Greek culture and translatedcontemporary Greek poetry), but the deposition-style narrative and the dud of an American protagonist keep the story from realizing its dramatic potential.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781893996175
  • Publisher: White Pine Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Maloney is a poet, translator,and landscape architect. His books of translation include The House In the Sand and Isla Negra by pablo Neruda, The Naked Women by Juan Ramon Jimenez, and There is No Road: Proverbs of Antonio Machado.
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Table of Contents

Preface: The Prose Poetry of Max Jacob, Francis Ponge and Jean Follain 13
Max Jacob
Introduction 21
War 26
Searching for the Traitor 27
The Truly Miraculous 28
The Tree-Chewers 29
The Bibliophile 30
La Rue Ravignan 31
The Beggar Woman of Naples 32
Success of Confession 33
Latude-Etude 34
The Judgment of Women 35
Poem in a Style Not Mine 36
A Christmas Story 37
Metempsychosis 38
A Touch of Modernism by Way of a Conclusion 39
Mystery of the Sky 40
Tale With No Moral 41
What Happens Via the Flute 42
Let's Bring Back the Old Themes 43
Errors of Mercy 44
Fake News! New Graves! 45
Poem 46
Literary Standards 47
A Bit of Art Criticism 48
Untitled 49
The Real Loss 50
Philosophical Return to What No Longer Exists 51
The Terrible Present 52
Hell Has Gradations 53
Fear 54
Warnings 55
The Bloody Nun 56
Ballad of the Night Visitor 57
In China 59
If Guillaume's Death Had Been Christian 60
Graveside Chat 61
The Soul and the Mind 62
Noble or Common 63
Mimi Pinson, Octogenarian 64
The Pilgrims at Emmaus 65
Customs 1944 66
Pre-War 67
The Castle of Painbis 68
Several Judgments by Our Set ... 69
Town Crier 70
My Soul 71
Reconstruction 72
Francis Ponge
Introduction 75
The End of Autumn 82
Poor Fishermen 83
Rum of the Ferns 83
Blackberries 84
The Crate 85
The Candle 86
The Cigarette 86
The Orange 87
The Oyster 88
The Pleasures of the Door 89
Fire 89
The Cycle of the Seasons 90
The Mollusk 91
Snails 92
The Butterfly 96
Moss 97
Water 98
Notes Toward a Shell 100
The Pebble 104
The Shrimp in Every (and All in a) State 111
The Shrimp Exaggerated 117
Abode of the Gray Shrimp 119
Shrimp One 123
Shrimp Two 124
The Pigeon 126
The Frog 127
The Horse 128
Manure 131
The Goat 132
The Earth 136
Notes on the Making of The Prairie 138
The Prairie 143
O This is Why I Have Lived 148
Jean Follain
Introduction 151
There was a door ... 157
The photograph of my grandfather ... 157
The snuffbox belonging to ... 158
A very distant image ... 158
I was five years old ... 159
Replete with parish affairs ... 159
The woodbin in my maternal grandmother's ... 160
There were sparrows and fruits ... 160
The shed where the casks ... 161
My maternal grandmother ... 162
The mighty edifices of nightfall ... 163
There were also days ... 163
Opening his hands ... 165
A boy is troubled ... 166
The landscapes they walk through ... 167
The cress-peddler ... 168
As in the city theater curtains rise ... 169
There's no more war ... 170
On Easter Sunday ... 171
To know how a leaf feels ... 172
One day I suddenly notice ... 173
A chant goes up ... 174
The fineness of things ... 175
She stops short at something ... 176
Close attention to things ... 177
Should the schoolboy ... 178
There are moments ... 179
The women washing dishes ... 180
Some territories are neither ... 181
Hamlets still keep the smell ... 182
This plant, so exceptional ... 183
You can get the impression ... 184
The county groundskeeper ... 185
Store windows start to light up ... 186
A crossroads ... 187
Flies die on the sticky ribbon ... 188
There are those who would like ... 189
During the summer of 1910 ... 190
For years on end ... 191
In 1880, hair counts a lot ... 192
One evening at the turn of the century ... 193
In houses one approaches carefully ... 194
At dinner, a civil servant ... 195
The sound of wind ... 196
School children holding hands ... 197
If a child skins a knee ... 198
"We're here," the husband says ... 199
A child's frail voice ... 200
The middle-aged teacher ... 201
People try to fight time ... 202
Insomniacs toss and turn ... 203
The woman says: "It looks like rain." ... 204
The house sits well back ... 205
A middle-aged man's wife tells him ... 206
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