The Rope Maker's Tale

W.H. New - Bio and Media
pb / 2009-04 / Poetry /
/ 94pp / $16.95

The old Rope-maker who sits under the apple tree quietly watches the world that passes him by, but while he does so, he gathers the world’s stories. So when he starts to tell his tale, everything can happen, and does: the wind will rise, the bells at the city gate will begin to peal, and a motley group of travellers will set out on the ring road of life, taking listeners with them. While the Rope-maker twists together sisal, hemp, jute, and cot- ton, his stories coil inside other stories—stories of war, disguise, trickery, passion, fear; stories of birth, hope, rivalry, laughter, play; stories of sor- row and death, friendship and family, defiance and recuperation. All of life swirls here. Braiding past and promise, The Rope-maker’s Tale cautions against passivity, celebrates joy and generation, and affirms the power of story-telling itself to take us on a journey into ourselves.

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