Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Anthony F. Klinkner (1880-1953)

Poet, Editor, Reporter
Born July 10, 1880, Cascade, Iowa
Died May 13, 1953, Dubuque, Iowa

In the centennial week of Dubuque, Iowa, in August 1933, Anthony Klinkner was awarded as the first poet laureate of the state of Iowa by the Poet Laureate League of America. The award was made "'in appreciation of the commendable interest and activity he has shown in the advancement of poetry and literature in the state of Iowa, and in recognition of his excellence in poetry composition'." (1) Klinkner had just turned fifty-three and had been writing poems for a quarter century. His poems had been broadcast over the radio and used in school programs. According to the Encyclopedia Dubuque"Klinkner's articles and verse appeared in more than three hundred Catholic and secular newspapers throughout North America, France, and Ireland."

Anthony Ferdinand Timothy Klinkner was born on July 10, 1880, in Cascade, Iowa, to two German immigrants, John H. Klinkner (1851-1927) and Margaret F. (Knippling) Klinkner (1850-1936). He graduated from St. Mary's High School in Cascade, Iowa. On June 27, 1905, he married Margaret Wallace (1882-?) in Farley, Iowa. They had two children.

A summary of Anthony Klinkner's résumé from The American Catholics Who's Who, 1946-1947, page 234:
  • Apprentice, Cascade Courier, 1896
  • Editor, Young America, 1897-1903
  • Member, United and National Amateur Press Associations, ca. 1897-1903 (from another source than Who's Who)
  • Reporter, Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, 1903
  • Editor, Farley News, 1904-1910
  • With Waukegon Republican and Cascade Pioneer, 1912-1919
  • With the Catholic Printing Company, Dubuque, from 1919
  • State and fiction editor, Catholic Daily Tribune, Dubuque, from 1926
  • Named first poet laureate of Iowa by the Poet Laureate League of America, 1933
  • Contributing editor, The Circle poetry magazine
  • Member, Catholic Poetry Society of America and other Catholic organizations
He wrote one poem in Weird Tales. Here is a list, far from complete, of his credits:
  • "The Sign" in The Sign (Sept. 1921)
  • Ten Nights in Fairyland (1921)
  • "The Dead Are in the Hillside Clay" in Weird Tales (Jan. 1933)
  • My Baby: Petals, Selected Poems (Dubuque, 1935)
Anthony Klinkner died on May 13, 1953, at age seventy-two and was buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Dubuque.

(1) Quoted in the Mason City Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Aug. 3, 1933, p. 2.

Some poems by Anthony F.T. Klinkner:

The Christ who works in offices
Is weary of his load,
Sum Total is his torture
And Hurry is his goad.

From Pilate's hall to Caiaphas
They drive him to and fro,
And only He Who is a Sign
His agony will know.

They crown his brow with wrinkles deep
To profit find or loss,
With price and cost they load him down,
The Ledger is his cross.

Each day he goes to Golgotha
To meekly do their will,
They look at him with eyes of scorn
On crucifixion hill.

The Christ who works in offices
For masters stern and grim,
Looks from his window prison bars
To hear the Easter hymn!

Baby Lindbergh
The empty arms of his mother will ache 
For the feel of his velvet cheek, 
The loving heart of his father will break 
For no more will his red lips speak. 
And over the hills with angels to roam 
Where no sin of the world may mar, 
He waits in the halls of heavenly home 
Where all of God's little ones are. 
--from The Catholic TribuneMay 14, 1932. 

Armistice Day
Endless crosses row on row
Tell of boys we used to know 
In the golden long ago. 

They were young and they were brave, 
Freely their young lives they gave, 
For oblivion of the grave. 

Underneath the skies of France, 
Battle-scar and battle-chance, 
Made of death a circumstance. 

America their native land, 
Saw them march to stirring band,
Saw them leave for foreign strand. 

Deathless they in valor sleep, 
We their memory sacred keep, 
While the long years onward sweep. 
--from The Catholic TribuneNov. 10, 1937

Anthony Klinkner's Poem in Weird Tales
"The Dead Are in the Hillside Clay" (Jan. 1933)

Further Reading
There isn't much to read about Anthony Klinkner on the Internet, but links are embedded in the main body of text above.

Original text copyright 2016, 2023 Terence E. Hanley

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