The Torah / Poetry nexus

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 laws
and observe my commandments
I will grant you rain in its season
you will eat your fill
I will live in your midst.

I will untie your tangles.
Where there is rye bread
there will always be pastrami.
You and your mother will remain
on 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:






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