of outfoxed foxes, hapless lions, frisky donkeys, mutinous rabbits, wise insects, exasperated goddesses, and bewildered mortals are brought to new and vivid life in this collection of 100 sonnets by Judith Goldhaber, with 100 watercolor illustrations by Gerson Goldhaber. The fables range from the familiar “The Fox and the Grapes” to the lesser-known “The Swan and the Goose” ; from the outright funny “The Stag and the Vine" to the touching “The Lark Burying Her Father" ; from the completely silly “The Wolf and the Crane" to the deadly serious “The Lion and the Boar”. Every generation needs to rediscover Aesop; here’s a charming and readable delight for adults and children alike, equally suitable for coffee-table browsing or, as Aesop’s Gluttonous Fox might prefer, devouring in one big gulp.
“To all readers, young and old, I commend these graceful and witty renditions of Aesop by Judith Goldhaber. And equally I recommend the playfully saturated, wry illustrations that accompany them. The only sour grapes for a reader will come if he or she leaves the book on the shelf!” —Roger Lathbury, author, Publisher, Orchises Press; Professor of English, George Mason University.
“What more could Aesop have wished than to address the 21st century in these dry, whimsical sonnets complemented by a series of soft, edgy watercolors? This beautifully produced book is a rare treat.” —Annie Finch, poet, Calendars (shortlisted for the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year Award), The Encyclopedia of Scotland, and Director, Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA, University of Southern Maine.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means including electronic, mechanical or photocopying or stored in a retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages to be included in a review.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2004097118
Cover art: Gerson Goldhaber
Cover design: Dianna LaFerry
SONNETS FROM AESOP
HERCULES AND ATHENA
Driving his chariot on a narrow road
Hercules was threatened by a beast
that reared its head as if to make a feast
of him. Undaunted, the intrepid hero strode
ahead, and struck the creature with his goad.
Instead of slinking off, the thing increased
ten times in size, until it filled at least
half of the highway. Then Athena showed
herself upon the scene. “O, stop your blows
dear Hercules, put down your sword and knife!
They do no good! This monster’s name is Strife!
It feeds on conflict, so do not oppose
its strength by force of arms. Leave it alone
and it will fade away all on its own.”
Praise for Sonnets from Aesop
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SONNETS FROM AESOP has been honored with an IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) as one of the ten “Outstanding Books of the Year” published by an independent press in 2005.