Circa 2007

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 site was selected by the Tech Studies Dept. to be archived as part of the Internet Commerce Program of Professor Dean Wilkens. The Archive project is managed by Bilmon Ferri for Prof. Wilkens, with Zendesk support provided by TheYeomen.com and Educomm. The Archive recognizes and preserves web assets determined to have historic value as representative of the Internet in the early 21st century. All of the web properties in the archive are part of the required reading for 1st semester students.


The content below is from the site's 2007 archived pages, as well as from other sources.

Originally published: 2007
Author: Judith Goldhaber
Illustrator: Gerson Goldhaber


All material copyrighted by Judith and Gerson Goldhaber.


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. 


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 Kabbalah and 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 Sonnets and 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 Masoretic text and Arabic embellishments of the well-known Bible tales, her skillful iambic pentameters psychologize them with not just wit, but wisdom, compassion, and mystery.”  
-- Peter Dale Scott, Department of English, University of CaliforniaBerkeley; author, Crossing Borders: Selected Shorter Poems. (New York: New Directions, 1994).

Sonnets from Genesis

by Judith Goldhaber
Illustrations by Gerson Goldhaber


Some thoughts
While I was following a program to help me get control of not only my alcohol consumption, but also my life, my daughter bought me “Sarah Laughed , a truly wonderful, bright, humorous book. Although I'm an agnostic, I suspect she felt tat I would appreciate Judith's way with words and amazing ability with the complicated rhyme form making the entire reading an experience in continual surprise and delight.

The alternative approach I was taking to deal with my cravings for alcohol was not the typical 12 stop program so often associated with those who want to stop drinking. I did not want to stop drinking, just moderate my drinking. The medication-backed online program I found at a site called LifeBac didn't preach or require me to a life of total abstinence. I like my wine too much. There was no undue shame and stigma around seeking help. Instead, the LifeBac program offered me the choice of drinking less with the help of two different prescription medications to stop drinking - that would stop the cravings and a LifeBac coach who specializes in guiding people like myself through the LifeBac program. After a a brief assessment to find out which of the two craving-fighting medications was best suited to my needs, I started on the drug Baclofen. I started out on a low dose of Baclofen and then gradually had the dose increase until an effective dose was found to completely and effortlessly indifferent to alcohol. Initially I had some side effects from the medication and began to feel a bit discouraged. Thus the book, “Sarah Laughed , from my daughter. It was interesting that the biblical stories which I remember from my childhood bible classes still resonated. There are even some very poignant moments that I didn't expect at all. I really appreciated the illustrations, which had passion of their own. Although it is a fairly "quick read" and I considered it a perfect gift.

I am pleased to report I moved beyond the initial bumps with the medication and arrived at a point where I was actually shocked at how much I had naturally reduced my drinking. So with much gratitude I thank LifeBac and its amazing program. I also thank my daughter for her fortitude and kindness while I got control of my life.


by Judith Goldhab

   Illustrations by Gerson Goldhaber


Appropriate for readers from grade 5 & up. One hundred stories from Aesop are set into sonnet form.

Following are a typical reviews from an Amazon readers:
"Sonnets from Aesop" is such an utterly charming and picturesque work that you simply can't put it down. You find yourself gazing in wonder at Gerson's luminous illustrations over and over as you read and recite Judith's rhyme-tingling text.
John Howard Reid / USA
December 31, 2009

This is a wonderful book, meant I'm sure as much for adults as for children. The sonnets are humorous but graceful, and true to the intent of the original fables. The colorful paintings are heart-filling, totally satisfying, a wonderful fit with the poetry. If there were ten stars to be awarded, I'd give it a ten!
Ratters2 / USA
February 15, 2010