Francis Ponge: The Radio

The Radio

This varnished box shows nothing that protrudes, only a knob to
turn to the next click, so that quite soon many little aluminum
skyscrapers light up weakly within, while savage shoutings spurt
contending for our attention.
    A little apparatus with a wonderful ‘selectivity’. Ah, how 
ingenious it is to have refined the ear to this point. Why? To pour
into it incessantly the most outrageous vulgarities.
    All the foment of dung of the world’s melody.
    Ah well, that’s what’s best, after all. The dung must be brought
out and spread in the sun: such a flood sometimes fertilizes…
    However, with a hurried step, return to the box, to sum up.
    Held in high esteem in every house these last years—plonked
right in the middle of the parlour, all windows open—the buzzing,
beaming little second garbage bin!

Translated by John Montague

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