Making Noises: A Bookbinding Poem

Single section binding from Bound:15 Beautiful Bookbinding Projects by Rachel Hazell. Image: Susan Bell. Published by Kyle.

Making Noises


The sound of folding paper is as quiet as a door closed to the wind.

The sound of sharp creases is as certain as shoreline pebbles settling.

The sound of a cutting knife is as clear as a falling wave.

The sound of a bone folder is as hard as a storm on the horizon.

The sound of a pencil marking sewing holes is as bumpy as a boat against a running tide.

The sound of pricking holes is like hail stones.

The sound of threading a needle is as sustained as air on wire.

The sound of sewing is as even as rowing.

Tying a knot is as held as a breath before exhaling.

The sound of a book is as wide as the sea.


© Rachel Hazell




Image above by Susan Bell, from Bound:15 Beautiful Bookbinding Projects, Rachel Hazell, published by Kyle.

The Travelling Bookbinder. Papers, shells and origami boxes. Work in progress. Making Noises. A bookbinding poem.

23 thoughts on “Making Noises: A Bookbinding Poem

  1. Beautiful….The poem is a book in itself. It is wonderful to repeat out loud. I would love to share your poem in my virtual CREATE lab with intermediate students (grade 4-6 ). Our provocation this fall is “the Nature of Materials”. One of the six materials we explore is paper and bookmaking will be an important activity in ways to explore paper. I will definitely introduce you to them via the Traveling Bookbinder website. Maybe you would be interested in visiting the CREATE lab one day as a featured artist to say hello. Oh the possibilities….

    1. Dear Pat, Thank you! Please do share this with your students – maybe they will try to describe the ‘Nature of Materials’ in poetry…it doesn’t have to rhyme… Thank you for introducing them to The Travelling Bookbinder. E-mail about a virtual hello please, Rachel X

  2. Thank you for the lovely poem.
    I needed that.
    The repetition, the images…
    calm & reassuring.
    I think I will go and make a book now.

    1. Ah fabulous Geri, thank you for going straight to making after reading – perfect!

  3. Thank you so much for these beautiful words which have reached me late at night at the bottom of the world in South Australia. A gift which will lull me to sleep.

  4. Hi Rachel
    Your poem is credible. It is so calming and transports me to another place. Much needed in these crazy days. Would you mind if I shared this with my handmade book group on Facebook? Of course I would credit your name and blog.
    Wellness and peace to you.

    1. Dear Jean, Please do – i’d be honoured. Thank you for spreading the word. We need to stay creative and positive to get through these challenging times…poetry, colour, water, leaves, rocks….whatever works XX rachel

  5. Thanks Rachel
    You are so right about staying creative and positive right now. BTW, in this Handmade Book group we were discussing outstanding books to review and of course, my choice was Bound. Love spreading the word about you.
    Take care,

  6. That’s a fabulous poem Rachel. Thank you. Ill read it again and again I feel sure.

  7. This is indeed a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing this. Rachel, May I have your permission to use this in a book I’m making For a book Arts organization here in Tucson, AZ? We’re celebrating our 20th year. Our organization is Paperworks. It’s only for our members. Non profit. Your poem would be a beautiful addition in this celebratory book. Thank you for your consideration.

    1. Dear Margaret, Thank you for writing! It would be an honour to be part of Paperworks 20th anniversary celebrations, so i’d love for you to share the poem. Best and bookiest and congratulations, Rachel

  8. Thank you very much. !!
    I can send you a copy or pdf when completed.

    All the best, Margaret

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