Illustrations by Grant Silverstein
From the award-winning poet and translator A.E. Stallings comes a lively new edition of the ancient Greek fable The Battle Between the Frogs and the Mice. Originally attributed to Homer, but now thought to have been composed centuries later by an unknown author, The Battle is the tale of a mouse named Crumbsnatcher who is killed by the careless frog King Pufferthroat, sparking a war between the two species. This dark but delightful parable about the foolishness of war is illustrated throughout in striking drawings by Grant Silverstein.
The clever introduction is written from the point of view of a mouse who argues that perhaps the unknown author of the fable is not a human after all: “Who better than a mouse, then, to compose our diminutive, though not ridiculous, epic, a mouse born and bred in a library, living off lamp oil, ink, and the occasional nibble of a papyrus, constantly perched on the shoulder of some scholar or scholiast of Homer, perhaps occasionally whispering in his ear? Mouse, we may remember, is only one letter away from Muse.”
"[O]ne of the strongest talents to emerge in recent years."―Poetry
"Through her technical dexterity and graceful fusion of content and form, Stallings is revealing the timelessness of poetic expression and antiquity's relevance for today."―MacArthur Foundation
"Stallings demonstrates formidable confidence in her technical skill, exploring fixed forms, tinkering with traditions, and creating her own combinations of meter and rhyme. She also takes chances."―Harvard Review on Hapax
"A. E. Stallings is not a perfect poet but a poet of perfection, with the patience and courage to bring to her poems what American poetry so rarely knows how to give, and American readers hardly dare to receive; lapidary finish of both form and reading."―The Yale Review
"The most gifted formalist of her generation . . . There are haters of such pleasures, to be sure; they are legion. But I think the poetry of A. E. Stallings will outlast them."―The Hudson Review
A. E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Athens, Greece since 1999. She studied Classics at the University of Georgia, and later at Oxford University. She has published four collections of poetry, Archaic Smile (which won the 1999 Richard Wilbur Award), Hapax (recipient of the Poets’ Prize), Olives (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Like. Her translation of Lucretius (into rhyming fourteeners), The Nature of Things, was called by Peter Stothard in the TLS “One of the most extraordinary classical translations of recent times.”
Stallings has received a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (US), and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and United States Artists, as well as a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her work is widely anthologized, and has been included in the Best American Poetry in 1994, 2000, and 2015, and in the Best of the Best American Poetry (ed. Robert Pinsky). Her poems appear in The Atlantic Monthly, The Beloit Poetry Review, The Dark Horse, The New Yorker, Poetry, Poetry Magazine, Poetry Review, and the TLS, among others. She also contributes essays and reviews to the American Scholar, Parnassus, Poetry Magazine, Poetry Review, the TLS, and the Yale Review.
Stallings is married to the journalist, John Psaropoulos, and has two children, Jason and Atalanta.
Grant Silverstein is an American artist who specializes in etchings. He lives in Pennsylvania.