The Torah / Poetry nexus

1/10/11

My last two print design jobs were both book covers for Torah-based poetry. Trend-watchers, take note.

First, Seth Brown translated the entire Torah into rhymed verse:

“I regret to say that I did not have a dream where God spoke to me and told me to write this. It would make for a better introduction, perhaps, if I had heard a thunderous voice from the sky, or had a vision of angels, or serendipitously discovered a Torah open to a page that talked about verse and knew that I had received a direct message from God. But alas, such was not the case. I just had the idea randomly one day.”

Meanwhile, Rachel Barenblat — who as of yesterday can officially be called Rabbi Rachel Barenblat — has just published 70 Faces: Torah Poems after patiently enduring two separate photo sessions for this cover because I completely screwed up the first one. Rather than try to summarize this one, I’m just going to lift some of it wholesale:

If you will follow my lawsand observe my commandmentsI will grant you rain in its seasonyou will eat your fillI will live in your midst. I will untie your tangles. Where there is rye breadthere will always be pastrami.You and your mother will remainon good terms, no matter what.

(That’s only half of the poem; you’ll have to buy the book to see the rest.)

The published version of the cover differs somewhat from my final proof that I’m showing here, because I wanted to show off the back cover as well, in all its lorem ipsum glory: