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"A Fable for Critics" is a long satirical poem by American writer James Russell Lowell. It features the god Apollo as Phoebus, the god of poetry, sitting under a laurel tree. He begins thinking aloud about the condition of poetry after receiving a book of poems. Soon a critic joins the conversation, and the two exchange observations on the writers of the time. In addition, they compare European, mainly English, writers with those in the United States and the system of slavery.