The Spider and the Fly (poem)

The Spider and the Fly is a poem by Mary Howitt (1799-1888), published in 1829. The first line of the poem is "'Will you walk into my parlor?' said the Spider to the Fly." When Lewis Carroll was readying Alice's Adventures Under Ground for publication he replaced a parody he had made of a negro minstrel song[1] with a parody of Howitt's poem. The "Lobster Quadrille", in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is a parody of Howitt's poem (it mimics the meter and rhyme scheme, and parodies the first line, but not the subject matter, of the original). [2] Noise rock band The Paper Chase (band) references the poem in their song, "Said the Spider to the Fly".

An illustrated version by Tony DiTerlizzi was a 2003 Caldecott Honor Book.[3]

The opening line "Will you walk into my parlour?", often quoted as "Step into my parlour" or "Come into my parlour", has become an aphorism, often used to indicate a false offer of help or friendship that is in fact a trap. The line has been used and parodied numerous times in various works of fiction.[citation needed] The famous Hutchinson Family Singers performed a version of the poem that was adapted to song by Jesse Hutchinson, Jr.


  1. ^ Gardner, Martin., The Annotated Alice, 1998
  2. ^ Lewis Carrols parody of Mary's poem accessed 3 October 2007
  3. ^ "2003 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books" Association for Library Services to Children. Retrieved October 8, 2007

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