Weaving a New Eden

by Sherry Chandler


Weaving a New Eden     Sherry Chandler

Available from your favorite local bookstore, from on-line vendors such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or from the publisher.

   Steve Meador
   Kentucky Monthly
Georgia Green Stamper
   Coyote Mercury


The authority of the voice in Sherry Chandler’s poems arrives firmly from the skilled and powerful imagination behind the work.  Weaving a New Eden is personal, historical, political, inspired—a thoroughly satisfying work of art.  This is a moving and original book wrought from a mature and subtle vision.
          — Maurice Manning

More than a work of history in verse, Weaving a New Eden represents poet Sherry Chandler’s confrontation with mortality, invisibility, loss and change.  Few poets can move, dazzle, and enlighten us in a single book, but Sherry Chandler can – and does – in this volume of poems.  From the deft personal lyrics that open Weaving a New Eden, through acrostic poems and blank verse histories to the stunning and graceful sonnet crown that closes the volume, Sherry Chandler bears her readers into the past and back out again with a sure hand.  In poems both scholarly and witty, Chandler lifts Rebecca Boone out of the shadows of history to sturdy, quirky reality and gives us glimpses of the other invisible women whose lives make up the hidden half of history. In Weaving a New Eden Sherry Chandler proves herself a gifted poet at ease in a range of forms and subjects.  Her work deserves a wide readership.
          — Leatha Kendrick

  From the Book —

Rebecca Boone’s Cat, Boonesborough, 1778 

I could claim to be the first tabby 
to stand on the banks of the Kentucky River
but there’s not much glory in it.
Still I had my moment in the spotlight.

The question may arise how I came to be here at all.
Let’s just say I rode across the Gap
in Lavina’s saddle bags.

I was hunting the day Rebecca packed up, took
the children and headed back to North Carolina.
I searched every piggin and trencher, but
I could not find so much as a lump of bear lard
left behind for my survival, though I did find
Rebecca’s corncob pipe on the cold hearth.

Not that I blame her much, mind you.
Who knew if Daniel had been scalped
or burned at the stake or had just gone Shawnee?
And with Callaway yelling traitor and Injun lover
every other breath, the atmosphere was 
less than friendly for Boone’s family.

Pickins was easy enough for a small well-clawed hunter.
All that talk of buffalo and deer, but no one mentions
the hoards of rats after the settler’s corn 
or the abundance of baby rabbits blind in their nests.
A cat can always find a way in and out of a stockade.

Still, I was glad enough to see Daniel when
he came moping into the cabin. Not much welcome
for a man who had just run for three days
to bring a warning — wife gone, friends skeptical,
nobody to love him but dear old tabby.
I jumped into his lap and we shared our sorrows.

Then Jemima came running in. “Daddy!” she cried
and I disappeared again into the fogs of history.