Francis Ponge

Ponge in later years

Francis Jean Gaston Alfred Ponge (French: [pɔ̃ʒ]; 27 March 1899 – 6 August 1988) was a French essayist and poet. Influenced by surrealism, he developed a form of prose poem, minutely examining everyday objects. He was the third recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1974.


Ponge was born into a Protestant family in Montpellier (South of France), the son of Armand Ponge, a banker, and his wife Juliette, née Saurel.[1] He studied in Paris at the Sorbonne and the École de droit where he read law,[1] In 1918–19 he served in the French army. In 1919 he joined the Socialist Party.[2]

Ponge worked for the Parisian publishing companies Editions Gallimard (1923–31) and Hachette (1931–37), and before the outbreak of the Second World War he was briefly an insurance salesman.[1] His earliest poems were published in 1923,[3] and he established a reputation in French literary circles, principally for his contributions to the Nouvelle Revue Française.[2] The editor of the publication, Jean Paulhan, became Ponge's mentor, and remained so for many years. Their correspondence continued until Paulhan's death in 1968.[4] During the 1930s Ponge was for a short while associated with the Surrealist movement, influenced by which he joined the Communist Party in 1937.[2]

During the Second World War, Ponge joined the French Resistance.[1] He also worked for the National Committee of Journalists, 1942–44 and was literary and artistic director of the communist weekly L'Action 1944–46.[1] He left the Communist Party in 1947.[5] From 1952 to 1965 he held a professorship at the Alliance française in Paris.[1] In 1966 and 1967 he was a visiting professor at Barnard College and Columbia University in the US.[1]

In his later years Ponge was a recluse, living at his country house. He died in Le Bar-sur-Loup at the age of 89.[3]

Awards made to Ponge included the Neustadt International Prize for Literature (1974),[1] the Académie française's French National Poetry Prize (1981),[3] and the Grand prix of the Société des gens de lettres (1985).[1] He was a Commandeur of the Légion d'honneur (1983).[1]

Other Languages
Deutsch: Francis Ponge
español: Francis Ponge
Esperanto: Francis Ponge
euskara: Francis Ponge
français: Francis Ponge
italiano: Francis Ponge
македонски: Франсис Понж
مازِرونی: فرانسیس پونژ
português: Francis Ponge
русский: Понж, Франсис
svenska: Francis Ponge
українська: Франсіс Понж