Kleiner, Rheinhart


Kleiner, Rheinhart
   (1892–1949).
   Poet, amateur journalist, and one of HPL’s oldest associates. He came in touch with HPL in early 1915, when he received the first issue of HPL’s Conservative(April 1915). With Maurice Moe and Ira A. Cole, they formed the round-robin correspondence circle, the Kleicomolo (Kleiner was probably the author of an unsigned article, “The Kleicomolo,” in the United Amateur,March 1919). He frequently commented upon HPL’s activities in his amateur journal, The Piper;HPL’s “The Allowable Rhyme” ( Conservative,October 1915) is a defense of his views against Kleiner. HPL’s poem “The Bookstall” ( United Official Quarterly,January 1916) is dedicated to Kleiner. The two poets frequently wrote poems to each other, including Kleiner’s “To Mary of the Movies” ( Piper,September 1915) and HPL’s “To Charlie of the Comics” ( Providence Amateur,February 1916), on Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, respectively; Kleiner’s “John Oldham: 1653–1683” and HPL’s “John Oldham: A Defence” (both in the United Co-operative,June 1919); Kleiner’s “To a Movie Star” and HPL’s “To Mistress Sophia Simple, Queen of the Cinema” (both in the United Amateur,November 1919); Kleiner’s “Ethel: Cashier in a Broad Street Buffet” and HPL’s “Cindy: Scrub Lady in a State Street Skyscraper” (both in Tryout,June 1920). In October 1919 HPL and Kleiner jointly wrote several short squibs on fellow amateurs, collectively titled “On Collaboration.”
   Kleiner wrote the first analysis of HPL’s poetry, “A Note on Howard P.Lovecraft’s Verse” ( United Amateur,March 1919). He first met HPL on July 1, 1916, while passing through Providence; he returned for visits in 1917, 1918 (after which he wrote a poem, “At Providence in 1918,” Conservative,July 1919) and 1920. HPL met him when he came to New York on two occasions in 1922; during the latter visit, on September 16, HPL and Kleiner visited the churchyard of the Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn, inspiring HPL to write “The Hound” the next month. Kleiner appears in the story as “St. John,” referring to HPL’s nickname for him, “Randolph St. JohnRandolp (a purported descendant of Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke). HPL and Kleiner met frequently during HPL’s years in New York (1924–26), as members of the Kalem Club. During this time Kleiner worked for the Fairbanks Scales Co. Kleiner wrote several memoirs of HPL after the latter’s death, including “Howard Phillips Lovecraft” ( Californian,Summer 1937) and “A Memoir of Lovecraft” (in HPL’s Cats). He edited a series of extracts of HPL’s letters to him, concentrating on amateur affairs, titled “By Post from Providence” ( Californian,Summer 1937). After HPL left New York in 1926, he lost touch with Kleiner for nearly a decade, but they resumed correspondence in 1936–37. Although a prolific poet, Kleiner published only a small number of his poems in book form, mostly in scarce small-press editions: Metrical Moments (1937), Nine Sonnets (1940), Pegasus in Pasture (1943), and so on.

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