In Mute Objects of Expression, Francis Ponge proclaims his goal: to accept the challenge that things—-objects—offer to language. These objects and scenes are perceived with unique Pongean art and humor in this volume centering on the unoccupied southern Loire countryside, where his family lived from 1940 to 1943. Because of wartime shortages, much of the book was drafted in a small notebook that made up his sole supply of paper. The poems recall the voices of Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams and evoke the violent perfume of the mimosa, the cries of carnations, and the flirtations of wasps. He is moved to explore a shadowy town square glimpsed from a bus window. But “to conquer this landscape of Provence? That would be too much!” claimed Ponge. Mute Objects of Expression is one of Ponge’s most important and beloved volumes.