The Ribbonweed Press website was created to promote Sarah Laughed's Sonnets from Genesis, a collection of poems that retell the stories from the book of Genesis.The content below is from the site's 2007 archived pages.
Originally published: 2007
Author: Judith Goldhaber
Illustrator: Gerson Goldhaber
All material copyrighted by Judith and Gerson Goldhaber.
EVE CONFRONTS HER RIVAL . . .
Cain learns the facts of life and death . . . Noah bakes bran muffins on the Ark . . .the angel of death begs God to "send somebody else!" . . . Jacob hides a silver goblet in Benjamin's luggage . . . and all of them argue stubbornly with God. The men and woman of the great family story of Western civilization -- husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters -- come to life in all their surprising and unabashed humanity in this series of sonnets based on Jewish folktales and legends. Poet Judith Goldhaber and illustrator Gerson Goldhaber's previous book was Sonnets from Aesop, winner of the Independent Publisher "Outstanding Book of the Year" award in 2005.
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Praise for SARAH LAUGHED: Sonnets from Genesis
“A sparkling rendition of the tales of Genesis, filled with insight, pathos and humor. The poetry and illustrations work their magic together, delighting the eye and beckoning the mind to wonder."-- Daniel Matt, author of The Essential Kabbalahand God and the Big Bang; translator of the Pritzker Edition ofThe Zohar
“Sarah Laughed is utterly charming, poem and icon, and cunning way to miraculous Genesis. In the best tradition of imitation it illumines the Abrahamic religions. Yitzhak (Isaac) meaning "laughter" in Hebrew, was Sarah’s nervous response to God's covenant, but the pact also gave her Yitzhak her son and song, confounding us with poignancy and humor. So too does Goldhaber’s volume, her gold chariot carrying our deepest tales to the world.”
-- Willis Barnstone, author ofThe Secret Reader: 501 Sonnetsand Sweetbitter Love: Poems of Sappho
“Judith and Gerson Goldhabers' winsome sequel to their Sonnets from Aesop enhances familiar stories with humorous and magical details from Jewish folklore, providing both a fresh perspective for adults and a fun and memorable way to introduce children to the Bible. Gerson's Chagall-like paintings add a mystical flavor, while Judith seems to have been born speaking in sonnets."
-- Jendi Reiter, author, A Talent for Sadness (Turning Point Books, 2003); editor, WinningWriters.com
“Sarah Laughed is another delight, in the pattern set by Sonnets from Aesop. It probes wonderfully through poetry and visual image into a world that is humane, imaginative, surprising. As I read here about Lilith, Eve, Jacob, and Joseph, I find them in me and myself in them. Here Cain stands over his brother, calls him, warms him—and discovers death. Of course! Neither he nor his parents had known death yet! Here Noah kneels down to scoop up the ants before he boards the ark. Here Abraham recalls poignantly ‘The visions never showed the destination/ only the journey, so we never knew/ if we'd arrived where we were going to.’ I pride myself on knowing scripture well. For me, these pictured poems open up delightful new depths in Genesis' characters.”
-- Reverend Gregory I. Carlson, S.J., Curator of the Carlson Fable Collection at Creighton University and Associate Director of the Deglman Center for Spirituality, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
“In the hands of Petrarch and Shakespeare, the sonnet became associated with the inner paradoxes of erotic psychology. Like Pushkin and Vikram Seth, Judith Goldhaber has adapted the sonnet to the paradoxes of social narrative as well. Sarah Laughed enlarges upon her earlier witty epitomes of Aesopian fable, to engage the larger and darker myths of Genesis. Drawing upon midrashic and Arabic embellishments of the well-known Bible tales, her skilful iambic pentameters psychologize them with not just wit, but wisdom, compassion, and mystery.”
-- Peter Dale Scott, Department of English, University of California, Berkeley; author, Crossing Borders: Selected Shorter Poems. (New York: New Directions, 1994).
Sonnets from Genesis
by Judith Goldhaber
Illustrations by Gerson Goldhaber
SONNETS FROM AESOP
by Judith Goldhab
Illustrations by Gerson Goldhaber
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