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Cover If Instead of Apes We Had Come From Grapes by Alan Van Dine, Light verse for a heavy universe. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, poetry
Title: If Instead of Apes We Had Come From Grapes:

we wouldn't just yet be wine.

by: Alan Van Dine.

List Price: $19.95,
ISBN 0-9744715-6-9
Light Verse For a Heavy Universe.
Web Site Promotion
$10 off. Sale price: $9.95
Mention promotion if ordering by phone.

“Ogden Nash, Dorothy Parker, even Edward Lear must count Van Dine as one of their company. His light verse should be read aloud to others, unwrapped like a white elephant gift before a chortling crowd at the office holiday party.”

Peter Oresick,
Poet and author of "The Story of Glass", "Other Lives", and "Definitions"

ISBN 0-9744715-6-9, ©2005, color, 150 pages, trade hardcover with dust jacket, 6x9 in., 20 per carton. Subject categories include poetry, light verse, humor, literature, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, non-fiction.

DESCRIPTION

With an outrageous sense of absurdity--and a bite to match his bark--Alan Van Dine rekindles the long neglected powers of light verse to reveal the humor in everything from science and history to the sacred cows of everyday life.

The author recalls his days in English Literature courses when "poetry loomed as a mysterious edifice, approached with reverence and awe. . . and poems required explication by a priestly cult of interpreters."

"Light verse is different," he writes in the preface to this book. "When you read it, you know what it means. When you write it, it's a form of play rather than a species of work or of art, and it's often a form of procrastination. You don't do it when you have the time; you do it when you're deeply over-committed to onerous tasks you would rather avoid." Both for reader and writer, he says, it's also a good way to shift gears in your brain. . . "to let your left brain take a sabbatical from problem-solving and have some fun rummaging around in your right brain's tool chests and toy boxes."

The same might be said for his whimsical drawings, which appear throughout the book.

If Instead of Apes We Had Come from Grapes proves a basic axiom: never underestimate the power of humor and of poets to entertain, to stimulate and to annoy, sometimes simultaneously.

Includes his series: "Rhymes & Ditties For Middle Size Cities"

The author introduces this chapter telling us "Facetious verse about a city has got to be nasty or it just doesn't work, which is why Chambers of Commerce employ so few poets."

Memorialized and pilloried are:

Pittsburgh (his home town),
Muncie,
Decatur,
Buffalo,
Fort Wayne,
and more.

Al Van Dine's Image sketch of Pythagoras and Euclid from his book If instead of apes we had come from grapes. Poetry, literature, verse, light verse.

Pythagoras and Euclid ---- Baskin and Robbins

EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:

Goths

I wish I knew more goths:
visible goths,
prosperous goths,
high goths and low,
goths to talk to and be seen with,
goths to sing, goths to sit around,
tell gothic tales, goths to ring
bells of gothic cathedrals,
strenuous goths to climb
trees, trample barberry,
waving their arms, yelling,
ferocious goths to run
half naked through the woods,
goths to worry the huns

Intercession

Good Saint Sister Solitary
up there in her hermity
shuns the dread idolitary,
prays for your infirmity.
Her grace, though in its infantry,
will grow, because of cavalry

Corporate Work Ethic

"The Good earn,
The Better save,
The Best invest,
and screw the rest."

Al Van Dine's Image sketch statue of limitations from his book If instead of apes we had come from grapes. Poetry, literature, verse, light verse.

Statue of Limitations

About the Author

If Instead of Apes We Had Come From Grapes author Alan Van Dine, Light verse for a heavy universe. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, poetry

Alan Van Dine has frequently written for newspapers and magazines and is the author of six prior books, as various as are his verses and illustrations in this one. His first was a children's book in verse called Can You Imagine? Next came a volume on unusual architecture--haunted houses, birds' nests, Beowulf's mead house, Shakespeare's Globe Theater--titled Unconventional Builders, which was later expanded and republished as Uncommon Structures, Unconventional Builders.

Others include a satire on advertising, The Encyclopedia of Advertising/15% Off, and a case study of documentary photography called Clyde Hare's Pittsburgh. He co-authored a book of prose and verse in portfolio form titled Moth Meats.

Through all this time, Alan Van Dine has been writing light verse. A dozen or so of the verses in this collection appeared in the Saturday Review, a leading literary magazine in its time, but most of his verses--and all of the illustrations--are appearing here for the first time in print.

Credit/Acknowledgment: The author would like to thank Myrna Rosen who provided the calligraphy for two poems in the book: The History Of England and The Norman Conquest.

Figures of Speech Appearing in This Collection.

Al Van Dine's Image sketch of figures of speech dithyramb and irony from his book If instead of apes we had come from grapes. Poetry, literature, verse, light verse. Al Van Dine's Image sketch of figures of speech dithyramb and irony from his book If instead of apes we had come from grapes. Poetry, literature, verse, light verse.

Dithyramb ------------- Irony

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