Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fun With Poetry: Anglo-Saxon Riddles

I'm taking a poetry class this semester, and I've decided to start posting my terrible, terrible poems here for your benefit. We actually started out with Anglo-Saxon riddles, and then I got all excited and fangirly when I realized that the poetry Tolkien wrote for the Rohirrim follows the same form.

So, here are some riddles. Figure 'em out.

I swim under silver       so cold and so wet
But my body casts shadows       over barns red and brown
I am alive, I always move       but I search all lands for death
Men fear me and hate me       though I clean up their messes
My many names are known to you       now give me some thanks!

I am running all the day       and all the night long too
You love to look at me       my face is lovely and true
When I stop you like to swear       and when I start you like to sigh
I govern this whole world       I am the great god of your lives


  1. My Guesses:

    1. Water/Rain/Clouds?

    2. Based on the first 3 lines, I would say "dinner". But maybe that's just the Hobbit in me coming out. With that fourth line thrown in though... Maybe "wind"

    1. I would gloat about you not getting either of them, but I understand you have Grading Brain right now. First one is a vulture and the second one is a clock.

      It also sounds like you have Dinner Brain as well. :D

  2. And here are a couple of my own:

    With brandished blade the wind I beat
    When broken is the belly that bore me.
    The sun strengthened my war-sword,
    And the sky I sought to assail.

    As my gore-blade grew it became golden.
    A stiff sword in battle me slew,
    And my body broken was crushed and burnt.
    My destroyers devoured me in their dens.

    A peculiar plant I saw poking forth.
    Its roots reach toward heaven and drink blood.
    Its colorless crown clings below.
    It cuts and crushes all things in its course.

    1. Okay then...first one sounds like corn. You've stumped me on the second one.

    2. The first one is grain, so I guess corn is okay too.

      The second one is a tooth. :D