Monday, June 14, 2010

A Note on the Type

A Note on the Type

This page has been set in the typeface
Bodoni, named after the noted printer
Giambattista Bodoni of Parma (1740-1813).

Do something with this information,
with these dates (larger minus smaller).

Imagine a man in an apron with stained hands.
The Bodoni types of today are not faithful,
not true Bodoni, but composites capturing

the manner of the type style. He was known
for accentuating contrast in letter elements,

skinny hairlines ballooning into thick stems.
Seventy-three years he lived, inflating and
deflating letters, playing baker, glassblower.

What shavings are left after playing with type,
whittling, carving serifs like balustrades.

Grandeur for Giambattista, accentuator of
variance, sleeves rolled to the elbow.
And here he is, on the last page of a book,

cramming power into the outlines of letters
as lifetimes are shoved into parentheses.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'm not at all sure what the picture has to do with the poem, except for the concept of roots. I love this poem! Your ideas are creatively expressed, and you give "life" to Bodoni, "accentuator of variance." For me at least, after reading this poem, his life is no longer shoved between parenthesis; he is a person who played with type, carving the letters, creating something everlasting, in all its variations.

  3. The lines "skinny hairlines ballooning into thick stems" and "carving serifs like balustrades" just upped my blood sugar level. ;) You do have a way with image and musicality that makes the mix of the two 'look' effortless.



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