Skip to main content

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

The Lamb Cycle

What the Great English Poets Might Have Written About Mary and Her Lamb (Had They Thought of It First)

Illustrated by Kate Feiffer
With a Foreword by James Engell

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

The Lamb Cycle

What the Great English Poets Might Have Written About Mary and Her Lamb (Had They Thought of It First)

Illustrated by Kate Feiffer
With a Foreword by James Engell
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.
 

60 pages | 16 halftones | 5 x 7 3/4

Poetry


Brandeis University Press image

View all books from Brandeis University Press

Reviews

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

“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

Table of Contents

Foreword by James Engell

Introduction

Mary Had a Little Lamb / Mother Goose
The Silly Lambe / Edmund Spenser
Sonnet No. 155 / William Shakespeare
Temper Rising / John Donne
Academia Lost / John Milton
The School Steps / George Herbert
To Mary, To Get Out On Time / Robert Herrick
Annus Horribilis / John Dryden
An Essay on Lambs / Alexander Pope
The Vanity of Ovine Hubris / Samuel Johnson
The Book of Hell / William Blake
Expulsion and Result / William Wordsworth
The Crime of the Urchin Mary / Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Why do I hate this horrid place / Emily Brontë
The Revolt of a Lamb / Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ode to Cologne / John Keats
My Man, Fred / George Gordon, Lord Byron
The Clover Eater / Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Friedrich Schlafbewirken’s Excogitation / Robert Browning
The Deserted Lamb / Matthew Arnold
Mistress Mary / Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Hymn to the Lamb / Algernon Charles Swinburne
A Shropshire Lamb / A. E. Housman
The Lambkin: To Lady Mary / Gerard Manley Hopkins
Lamby / Rudyard Kipling
At School / Thomas Hardy
Loco Lamb and the Schoolman / William Butler Yeats
Lamb / D. H. Lawrence
Little Gaffer / T. S. Eliot
A Refusal to Bleat and Moan About Being Expelled from School / Dylan Thomas
The Anxiety of Age / W. H. Auden
School Going / Philip Larkin
Second Thoughts About Mary / Stevie Smith

Acknowledgements
Dedication

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press