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Chapter

Ode To Typography


Department
Art
Course Code
ART 1551
Professor
All

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Entangled Gutenberg:
the house with spiders,in darkness,
Suddenly,a letter of gold enters through the
window.
Thus printing was born
Letters,
long, severe, vertical,
made of pure line,
erect like a ship s mast in the middle of
the page s sea of confusion and turbulence;
algebraic Bodoni,
upright letters,
trim as whippets
subjected to the white rectangle of geom-
etry;
Elzevirian vowels
stamped in the minute steel of the print shop
by the water,
in Flanders, in the channeled North ciphers
of the anchor;
characters of Aldus,
firm as the marine stature of Venice,
in whose mother waters,
like a leaning sail,
navigates the cursive curving the alphabet:
the air of the oceanic discoverers slanted
forever,
the profile of writing.
From medieval hands to your eye
advanced this N,
this double 8 this J,
this r of rey and rocio.
There they were wrought,
much as teeth, nails,
metallic hammers of language:
they beat each letter, erected it,
a small black statue on the whiteness,
a petal or a starry foot of thought
taking the form of a mighty river,
finding its way to the sea of nations
with the entire alphabet
illuminating the estuary.
The paper s eyes,
eyes which looked
at men seeking their gifts,
their history, their loves;
extending the accumulated treasure;
suddenly spreading the slowness of wisdom
on the table like a deck of cards.
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