The Lamb Cycle: What the Great English Poets Would Have Written About Mary and Her Lamb (Had They Thought of It First) (Hardcover)

The Lamb Cycle: What the Great English Poets Would Have Written About Mary and Her Lamb (Had They Thought of It First) By David R. Ewbank, Kate Feiffer (Illustrator), James Engell (Foreword by) Cover Image
By David R. Ewbank, Kate Feiffer (Illustrator), James Engell (Foreword by)
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The rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” told in the style—and substance—of the great English poets from Edmund Spenser to Stevie Smith.
In The Lamb Cycle, David R. Ewbank achieves the unthinkable—he writes so convincingly in the style of the great English poets that one could be lulled into thinking that Shakespeare himself was inspired to muse upon the subject of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Ewbank captures not only the style of each of the poets he chooses, but also their preoccupations and subject matter. So D.H. Lawrence’s Mary longs for her lamb as any woman longing for her lover, whilst T.S. Eliot’s Mary is recollected by an old man looking back on his life. Alexander Pope writes an “An Essay on Lambs,” and Tennyson’s lotus eaters become “The Clover Eater.” Brilliantly written, sophisticated, and laugh-out-loud funny, these poems, enhanced by Kate Feiffer’s charming illustrations, will enchant anyone who has ever read an English poem.

About the Author

David R. Ewbank is professor emeritus of English literature at Kent State University. He has authored A Distant Summer, and a collection of parodies Fairy Tales for Adults, famous stories as they might have been written by classic American authors. He also served as coeditor of the multivolume collection The Complete Works of Robert Browning.

Kate Feiffer’s illustrations have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and on television. She is the author of eleven highly acclaimed children’s books, including Henry the Dog with No Tail and My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life, and the event producer for the Martha’s Vineyard-based writers festival Islanders Write.

Praise For…

“What former English major wouldn’t get a kick out of The Lamb Cycle?”
— Washington Post

“Truly remarkable. . . . Not only is Ewbank deeply knowledgeable about each of his thirty-two targets and their poetry, but he has an uncanny ability to ventriloquize their voices without any disrespect or mockery. . . . Endlessly delightful.”
— Poetry Corner

“A tour de force for our times. The Lamb Cycle gives us a new take on Mary and her lamb. Whether evoking the Renaissance, the Victorian Age, or modern life in language and art, Ewbank and Feiffer perform with panache.”
— Martha's Vineyard Times

“A silly and high-minded book, an absolute barrel of laughs for those deeply into English lit and, I suspect, a bit of fun for any sort of reader.”
— Third Coast Review

“David Ewbank’s versatility in the art of literary imitation is nothing short of shapeshifting. Here are 32 high-wire acts of poetic impersonation, which ironically elevate Mary and her famous little lamb, while honoring the great English poets—all to the delight of every reader’s inner English major. Mother Goose herself rises to applaud, somehow. And Kate Feiffer’s drawings are a charming bonus.”
— Billy Collins

The Lamb Cycle made me laugh with delight even as it delivered a masterclass on poetic form. David R. Ewbank captures each of the great poets’ stylistic tics and thematic preoccupations, and imbues them with a visionary verve all his own. The poems are perfectly paired with Kate Feiffer’s elegant illustrations, brimming with wit and wonderment.”
— Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and author of March
Product Details
ISBN: 9781684581450
ISBN-10: 1684581451
Publisher: Brandeis University Press
Publication Date: April 1st, 2023
Pages: 60
Language: English