Friday, January 11, 2019

Bach by Leonard Cline

Cline's poem "Bach" appeared in the February 1921 issue of The Liberator. In a 1925 article on "The Lineage of God Head," detailing what went into the making of his first novel, Cline noted his earlier poem "Bach":

In a time of great personal distress I found comfort in the fugues of Bach on the piano and the fugues of eternity on the skies. I bought texts on astronomy and watched Arcturus give way to Vega as mistress of the night and flaming Mars hunt Venus down in the west.  The first result of that experience was a poem called "Bach" which was printed in The Liberator. And into God Head went Wain and Swan, Polaris and the Pleiades, and all the tragic eventualities of the heavens.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Leonard Cline's Second Novel: Listen, Moon! (1926)

Cline's second novel, Listen, Moon! was published by the Viking Press on August 7th, 1926.  It was reprinted in the same month.The spine and front cover of the dust-wrapper appears below. The dust-wrapper art is signed Politzer, which refers to Irving Politzer (1898-1971), who began designing dust-wrappers in 1924 and built a successful book promotion company. Three examples of Politzer's other dust-wrappers are below the Cline dust-wrapper.





Monday, January 7, 2019

The Society of the Painted Window

Cline, with a copy of The Painted Window, 1913
Leonard Cline studied at the University of Michigan as an undergraduate from the fall of 1910 through the spring of 1913.  The Society of the Painted Window started publishing a literary magazine in March 1912, and The Painted Window lasted ten issues.  Cline began contributing in the third issue (June 1912), and he published stories and poems all the remaining issues. By the sixth issue (November 1912), Cline's name was added to the Members List, and soon after this he became editor of the magazine. 

The below page from the 1913 Michiganensian (the University of Michigan yearbook, published in May 1913) gives the names of the members of the Society of the Painted Window.  

A good number of the people involved in the Society of the Painted Window went on to have distinguished careers.  These will be covered in future posts.


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Leonard Cline's First Novel: God Head (1925)

Leonard Cline's first novel was on the first list of six books published by the newly-founded Viking Press of New York for the latter half of 1925. Cline's book was the fourth on the list, and it appeared on October 10th, 1925.  The spine and front cover of the dust-wrapper appears below. The art is signed K.S, but I do not know who that was.


For publication in England, the novel was retitled Ahead the Thunder, and Jarrolds published it in November 1927. The spine and front cover of the dust-wrapper appears below.  The art is signed K.R.T., referring to K[enneth] Romney Towndrow (1900-1953), an art historian, critic, painter and occasional writer (e,g., The Works of Alfred Stevens, 1951), who gorgeously illustrated with eight art-deco colored plates The Secret Mountain and Other Tales (Faber and Gwyer, 1926) by Kenneth Morris, another favorite book of mine.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Cline's First Book: Poems (1914)

Leonard Cline's first book was a collection of poems published by the Poet Lore Company of Boston on September 21, 1914. The book had been contracted with the Poet Lore Company on March 9, 1914. Cline paid them $300 to publish the book, and thereafter he would be paid 40%  of the gross proceeds received from the sale of the book.  Poems was dedicated to his wife, Mary Louise (Smurthwaite) Cline, known as Louise, whom he had married in October 1913. Their first child, a daughter named Mary Louise Cline (always known as Mary Louise), was born on September 6th, 1914.

The Poet Lore Company, and its associated Gorham Press, was then run by Richard Gorham Badger (1877-1937). It was mostly known for the magazine titled Poet Lore, to which Cline also contributed in  1917-1919.

If Poems was issued with a dust-wrapper, I have never seen it.  Here is the simple yet elegant cover of the book.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Vega by Leonard Cline

Thomas Smurthwaite
The short poem "Vega" appeared in the December 1920 issue of The Liberator. It is dedicated to Thomas Smurthwaite (1850-1929), who was Cline's father-in-law, the mother of Cline's wife Louise Smurthwaite, whom he married in Manistee, Michigan, in October 1913. Thomas Smurthwaite was born in Toronto, but came to Michigan in 1865 and settled in Manistee in 1886, where he was an attorney and, for a time in the late 1890s, the mayor. The Smurthwaite house and hills, referred to in the poem, were on 160 acres purchased in 1895 for a summer home, located north of Manistee proper, at a high point on the south side of Portage Lake.





Sunday, December 30, 2018

Leonard Cline's Bookplate

Leonard Cline's bookplate is reproduced at right.  According to Cline's daughter, it was designed by Arthur Marschner while both he and Cline worked at the Detroit News. Evidently only a small number of bookplates were made at the time, and examples survive in less than ten volumes owned by Cline, all published between 1918 and 1921.


Arthur A. Marschner (1884-1950) was, in his lifetime, a well-known Detroit artist and illustrator.  He published three illustrations in 1921 in The Liberator, a socialist magazine in which Cline published six poems in 1918 through 1921.


Here are the three pieces of Marschner's art (probably linoleum or wood cuts):



March 1921

March 1921
September 1921 

And here is Cline's poem, "Vision," from July 1921.

I found some other Marschner artwork on the web, and here are a few oil paintings.

Still with Fruit and Copper Pot

Two Landscapes