Sonnets from Aesop
. Ribbonweed Press . Berkeley, CA
xPS3557.O365S8 2004 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
MetadataShow full item record
Here is an extra copy. Roger had been saving this book for me. What a wonderful surprise! A local couple, writer and artist, worked together to create it. He also gave me the blurb on them and their book. Gerson Goldhaber is an over-80 astrophysicist from Cal, and Judith is his somewhat younger poet wife. What a great combination! There are one hundred fables here, each in sonnet form, and each with a full-page watercolor illustration on the facing page, done here in glossy, four-color renditions. As for the texts, they may labor sometimes to accomplish their rhymes. The writer takes on the difficult task of giving whatever moral may be appropriate within the fourteen-line structure of the sonnet. Thus the fox who has announced universal peace but is now leaving quickly does not say that the dogs may not have heard about the peace but rather sometimes I'm outfoxed by my own cunning (2). The owner and the renter of the ass argue over who owns the ass' shade, but while they argue the ass runs off (8). The conception of TB is different here; there is nothing about playing dead, but only about confronting the bear (12). This fable provides one of the liveliest illustrations! The Eagle and the Hawk (18) is one of the most successful texts, and has a good illustration too. The Rabbit with Many Friends (36) makes it into this collection as Aesopic, even though it seems first to have appeared in Gay. The Eagle and the Arrow (52) closes well with what the author calls an epitaph: we give our foes the means for our destruction. The Farmer and His Sons (66) is well told. The two daughters with contrary prayers commend them--each one prayer--to their respective parents, so that the parents are praying mutually for rain and sunshine. I notice a new moral to The Serpent and the File: it's useless to beat up on the insensible (104). Two pages later, Zeus makes the earth so that the lark can bury her dead father. The woman who was a cat is not transformed back after eating the mouse; she just feels mortified (138). Perhaps the most graphic illustration is for FWT (151). Fortune spares a man sleeping, not on the edge of a well, but at the edge of a road where cars come very close to him (160). There is an AI at the back. This is an impressive book! The explanation of the two dates is that the book is copyrighted in 2004 but printed in 2005.