Retired Ala. teacher writes rhyming Bible
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Annquenette Windham, a retired teacher from Adamsville, likes to write rhyme, and she likes the Bible.
She has written more than 1,000 versions of Bible stories, in rhyming verse, at least one from every book of the Bible.
She picks out stories and sets them to poetry.
"I basically stick with the King James Version," she said. "It's so poetic."
She has published her interpretations of stories from Genesis through Exodus in a new book, "Bible Revival: For a More Excellent Ministry," available through Amazon.com for $18.99.
She said reading the Bible in rhyme makes it easier to comprehend and remember.
"In order to understand the Bible, you've got to search the scriptures and study them yourself," Windham said. "The mind sticks with words that rhyme. Simplicity, that's the key."
But she strives to stay true to the King James Bible, just shifting the story around enough to give it a rhyming rhythm. "I already had the story written for me, I just had to make it simple," she said.
Windham taught social studies for 20 years at Skyline High School in Mesquite, Texas, and two years at Carter High School in Dallas before retiring in 2004 and moving back to Adamsville to take care of her ailing mother. She has been writing her rhyming version of the Bible ever since.
"I've been working on it since 2004," she said. "I started by writing 12 stories, then 30, then 66, one from every book of the Bible, then I ended up writing 1,000. It's been fun."
Windham said she's planning to publish a series of books that will take her poetic interpretations of the Bible all the way through Revelation. She also writes study notes for each story.
Here's a sample story, from Genesis Chapter 16: verses 1-6:
"Sarai, Abram's wife
Could not bear children in her life
And it seemed by far
She had an Egyptian handmaid whose name was Hagar
Sarai wanted children, either a daughter or son
But knew she could not produce either one
Since she could not bear children herself
She wanted to have them by someone else
Sarai came up with a plan
She spoke to her husband, Abram, with a request or demand
The Lord hath restrained me from bearing, she said
Then she began to speak to Abram about taking Hagar to bed
Sarai revealed her plan and what she hoped would occur
She said, Go in unto my handmaid; it may be that I may obtain children by her
He slept with Hagar and she conceived
When Sarai gave Abram her handmaid, Hagar, to be his wife
He had lived in Canaan for 10 years of his life
When Hagar realized that she had conceived, she had spite in her eyes
It was Sarai, her mistress, whom she despised
Sarai went to Abram and began to place blame
May the wrong I have done be on you, she said, as she began to complain
I have given my maid unto thy bosom, she said within her cries
And when she knew that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes
Then as far as the way things would be
She said, The Lord judge between me and thee
Although Sarai blamed Abram for the way things were
He left the resolution up to her
He said, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand, do to her as it pleaseth thee
And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, Hagar decided to flee!"