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Hue Sample A Random Selection of Deceased Caucasian Males,
Roughly Formatted in Clerihews
by Angela Lorenz
 
Edition of 48 copies
5" x 3.5" closed
2013

This series of clerihews represents the first collection of poetry published by the artist. They were composed over a period of 15 years. The writer was not aware of the clerihew format when she began composing them. Her interest in comic, rhyming verse, coupled with a passion for biography fueled the writing, and the subsequent knowledge that this was a recognized type of poetry, invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) when he was in high school in London’s St. Paul’s School, served only to enable her penchant for ribald, epigrammatic verse.

The impetus to publish the clerihews as a collection of verse was precipitated by a sad event: the death of professor, author and human rights activist Pier Cesare Bori (1937-2012), a warm presence in the lives of those who knew him, including the artist. His death inspired a clerihew, along with the desire to share it and honor him. Clerihews are four-line epigrammatic poems composed
of two couplets irregular in length and meter, irreverent and humorous biographies, after their inventor, Clerihew Bentley.

Pier Cesare Bori’s life was remarkable in all that he learned, and all he achieved, in world languages, religious philosophy and training, as an author and human rights advocate. But it was his remarkable attitude about death that inspired the poem. Bori’s sense of humor and ironic attitude up to the very end is something to aspire to. The clerihews are organized by death date, so Bori’s is necessarily the last:

Pollutants in the air killed Pier Cesare Bori,
But PCB’s were only part of the story.
Black comedy filled his lung to the end,
As inflammable asbestos extinguished this friend.

Bori had the misfortune to live in the vicinity of an asbestos factory in Italy, years before his death, and was one of many in the town to succumb to this hazardous material. Bori kept his sense of humor, however. In his last days, when a friend called him and asked if he was interrupting things, Bori replied, “Yes, I’m dying (at the moment).” The fact that his initials are synonymous with lung disease couldn’t be ignored in light of his ironical take on life (and death).

All of the clerihews in this collection dutifully impart one silly fact regarding the lives of authors, architects, writers, printers, doctors, scientists, diplomats and artists from the last 2,100 years.

This work was digitally printed in Bologna, Italy by Legatoria dell’Unione in Dante typeface and bound to resemble manufacturers’ color sample books, using brass screws. An attempt was made to match the colors of the cloth to each subject, when possible. For example, the clerihew for Luigi Galvani, who conducted electrical experiments with frogs’ legs, is printed on green bookbinding cloth. Produced in an edition of 48 copies in 2013.


 



 
TEXT
   
   

Hue Sample –
A Random Selection of Deceased Caucasian Males,
Roughly Formatted in Clerihews

By A.S. Lorenz

 

For my Phillips Academy philosophy instructor Tom Hodgson,
who taught me to pronounce Nietzsche, and
For University of California Professor Margaret Brose,
who explained why exile was worse than death in antiquity.

 

Clerihew Bent(ley)

Poets who emulate Clerihew,
Might be lacking in larger things to do.
Or maybe they just want to do them faster;
Concise biography of poetaster.

 

Cicerone

Marcus Tullius Cicero’s
Name’s a growth upon his nose.
Or an ancestor’s nose was funny,
Or chickpeas made the family money.

 

Curiosity Killed the Naturalist

I like to think it was author Vitruvius
Who met his fate at the foot of Vesuvius.
But the complacent disaster-watching ninny
Was actually the early scientist Pliny.

 

Nobody Nose (for Margaret Brose)

On the Black Sea, exiled Ovid “Nasone”
Preserved an ear for elegiac tone, eh?
Augustus snuffed Mr. Nose’s identity.
No one knows why he became an unknown entity.

 

Caroline Miniscule for the Analphabetic

A capital invention for Charlemagne,
That improved comprehension during his reign,
Was when letterforms fell from big to small,
Though it didn’t help his literacy at all.

 

Type Case

Gutenberg’s achievements are only known
Because he was sued for all he did own.
The founder of type in an unmarked grave
Lost the case, but his name was saved.

 

Vittore Scarpazo and La Compagnia della Calza

The man once born as “old shoe” Carpaccio,
Whose association with raw meat’s macho,
Was such an innovator we can hardly mock
His falling in with The Company of the Sock.

 

A Mason (né Di Pietro della Gondola) Meets his Mentor

Historians know that Palladio’s
Mobility, for a mason, a lot he owes
To Humanist employer Trissino who did float
Di Pietro della Gondola’s boat.

 

Ambrose Philips, Victor

Who gives a thought to poet Harry Carey?
Would-be bullies do be wary:
In cutting a colleague as “namby pamby”
He immortalized his victim poet Amby.

 

Not One Cent for the Postmaster

Benjamin Franklin patently did no harm,
That others could profit, and keep warm.
From the stove he did invent,
Franklin refused to earn a cent.

 

Luigi Galvani’s Stimulation

Volta drained power from “frogs’ legs” Galvani:
Understanding what Luigi stumbled upon he
Claimed electricity’s prize.
But Galvani will always galvanize.

 

Charles Lamb

Charles Lamb
Stuck it to The Man,
With rumbustious puns
Stuttered from his tongue.

 

Charles Lamb bis

Lamb was not known to lambaste,
To lay Coleridge or Wordsworth to waste.
Gently roasting these friends
Did no choler attend.

 

Fame, A Perfectly Decorated Villa, A Noble Wife

The literary giant Balzac, Honoré,
Achieved nearly all he desired in his day,
But enjoyed it just for a few months, ill,
Still convinced all we need is Will.

 

The Flower Power of J.R. Poinsett

On J. R. Poinsett
The sun won’t set.
This war minister’s name
Thrives with poinsettias’ fame.

 

Edward Lear

Lear jettisoned snails
Not so much for mucilage trails;
Their Sanremo appetite
Was no garden delight.

 

Nietzsche Does Not Rhyme with Peachy
(for Tom Hodgson)

To properly enunciate Friedrich Nietzsche
Follow Brits’ and Bostonians’ ending in teacher.
But if you forget, speaking in a hurry,
Such a slight wouldn’t cause an Ubermensch worry.

 

0 Kilometer Painter/Gourmand at Prouts Neck

Cooking and gardening pleased Winslow Homer,
Who put seaweed on his beds in winter, the loamer,
Telling kin he liked food more than household ease:
Edibles in the library didn’t freeze.

 

Not So Hardy Novelist

Auden, be thankful for Hardy,
Though I ween it’s a wee bit tardy.
Oughtn’t we thank his late critical reception,
For a refuge in poems, a new direction?

 

The Father of Archeological Method, Misplaced
(in a Royal College of Surgeons Basement)

Flinders Petrie’s head, from Palestine traveled far
To rest unlabeled in London, in a jar,
Not to be confused with a Petri dish,
Named for the German bacteriologist.

 

Down the T.oilet

That T. Eliot, without his Stearns,
Backwards spells toilet does float concerns.
His anti-Semitism we can’t redress;
For his reputation it’s bad cess.

 

Stacks of the Hay Library

A slim gilt volume of Ezra Pound,
In a library bindery, I once found.
Quickly my delight was eclipsed with horror,
As I discovered his Fascist broadcasts in the war.

 

Dr. Carlo Urbani

Carlo Urbani identified SARS,
Not for his gain, but ours.
The virus in which his name is instilled,
Is the same by which he was killed.

 

P.C.B. and Irony in Lung

Pollutants in the air killed Pier Cesare Bori,
But PCB’s were only part of the story.
Black comedy filled his lung to the end,
As inflammable asbestos extinguished this friend.

 

This book materialized when the enlightened spirit of polyglot
professor, author and human rights activist Pier Cesare Bori
inspired a clerihew upon his death, along with the desire to
share it. Clerihews are four-line epigrammatic poems composed
of two couplets irregular in length and meter, irreverent and
humorous biographies, after their inventor, Clerihew Bentley.
Digitally printed in Dante typeface on bookcloth. Bound to
resemble manufacturers’ color sample books, with brass screws.

 

Copyright 2013 Angela Lorenz            /48