New Poetry Book from Barbara Crooker

A couple of years ago at the Douglass College Reunion, where all classes are invited to the luncheon, I met Barbara Crooker and learned she was a poet. Since then I have posted her work on my website. She emailed me about her new book, which is perfect for St.Patrick’s Day.



The name of the book is Book of Kells. Here’s a brief Intro and one of her poems:

The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels, created in around 800 AD. The Chi/Rho page consists of the Greek letters chi and rho that were used in medieval times to abbreviate the word “Christ.”


With quills and ink of iron gall on folded vellum,

monks in their cells labored in hives of stone,

producing pages that glistened like honey,

sweetening the word of God. On this page, the chi

commands the eye, its arm swooping to the left

in an elegant scrawl, the smaller rho and iota

nestled to the right. Knotwork fills each letter

to the brim.  Three angels fly from the crossed

arms, heaven and earth intertwined, coiled spirals

connected by curves. Despite the gleam, no gold

is used, just layers of color built up like enamel.

In the interstices, creatures of air: birds and moths;

creatures of sea: fish and otters; creatures of land:

cats and mice.  For the whole world was holy,

not just parts of it. The world was the Book of God.

The alphabet shimmered and buzzed with beauty.





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