Aesop's Fables Set in Verse
. H. Jerome Alter . NA
PA3855.E5A48 2011 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here is a privately published, printed upon demand paperback book of some 153 pages after ten pages of introduction. Each fable gets a new page; a few run over onto a second page. As the back cover says, On a light note, H. Jerome Alter has couched a selection of Aesop's fables in verse. The titles are original and clever. Thus the first fable about an eagle wounded by an eagle feather is titled The Sharpest Irony (1). Alter's morals can get topical, as in this very fable, which describes the attack on Pearl Harbor and then points out that we in the USA had shipped the Japanese the steel to build the bombs to launch this war. I find the tellings of the fables lively here and engaging, though encumbered by the need to rhyme. That need creates some unusual word order. The Foolish Lion (5) is new to me. A hunter waits in a tree near the carcass of a stag partially eaten by a lion. When the latter returns, the former shoots him. Nor would a thief in confidence sublime,/Revisit the location of his crime. I want to consult more of these lively texts for oral presentation in future lectures. The clever titles make finding a specific fable difficult. I could not find a version here of GA, for example.