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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

An Old English Riddle


AN OLD ENGLISH RIDDLE
A moth, I thought, munching a word.
How marvellously weird! A worm
Digesting a man’s sayings –
A sneak-thief nibbling in the shadows
At the shape of a poet’s thunderous phrases –
How unutterably strange!
And the pilfering parasite none the wiser
For the words he has swallowed.

This was published in The Book Of Exeter over one thousand years ago.
I will tell more about that when I give the answer to the riddle in a few days.

7 comments:

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Hmmm, well, I'm no moth, but I DO devour words. Does that make me a bookworm?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bazza - me too thought of 'bookworm' ... something along those lines ... I wonder if we think alike 1,000 years later ... cheers Hilary

Hels said...

I am thinking of dementia. Having a beautiful and creative mind, then watching vocabulary and memory eaten away.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Thoughts of an aging poet? I know the feeling.

bazza said...

All will be revealed soon!

Parnassus said...

Hello Bazza, I am with the bookworm contingent. And speaking of cellulose-eating insects, last week right before I left Taiwan there was the biggest flying termite swarm I have ever seen. There was such a cloud of them that they filled the air, and I had to close all the windows and turn off the lights. A nuisance, but I suppose on the whole they are an ecological necessity.
--Jim

bazza said...

Hi Jim. I am not certain of the place of termites in an eco-system. It must have been like a plague of locusts! I have been away for a few days so I will be publishing the (fairly obvious) answer to the riddle later in the week.