Hello, riddlers! You are no doubt waiting with bated breath for the results of the riddle-composition contest. Well, as luck would have it, we have a final decision for you.
The panel of professional poets and Anglo-Saxonists who acted as judges would like me to let you know that ALL the entries were very good indeed. This is not an empty ‘you’re all winners on the inside’ accolade, but the real opinion of each and every judge. However, since this is supposed to be a contest…we’re pleased to announce a joint victory for: Alison Offer and Juliana Poole. If the winners are reading this: I’ll be in touch shortly to see about sending you your brilliant prize of Riddle Ages key-rings.
We hope the rest of you enjoyed writing your fantastic riddles and will consider entering again in the future.
Everyone, please enjoy reading Alison and Juliana’s riddles below:
Author: Alison Offer
(in Old English)
Ic ferede feorran in fyrngearum
ofer ismerum isernheardum,
hwælplegstowe. Oft hwistlede seo lyft,
wind winterceald, ymb min wæggræge hrægl.
Sungon and swegde samod ætgædere
min flangefaran, farena gliwcræft
amyrgde mine heortan. Mirige ic eom giet ac heortleas,
for æt flæsce and felle feond me bestripte,
mid scearpseaxe sixfealdlice
min ban þurhdraf. Nu þæs beornes æþm
hwistleþ þurh minum lice, and heortan wera
min sweg frefraþ. Sæge hwæt ic hatte.
(in Modern English)
Far I travelled in former years
over iron hard oceans of ice,
the whale’s playground. Oft whistled the air,
the winter-cold wind, about my wave-grey robes.
My comrades in the arrow all called and sang
together, their travellers’ music
Brightened my heart. Bright I am still, but heartless,
for a fiend stripped off my flesh and skin,
with a sharpened knife, six times over
bored through my bone. Now the breath of a man
whistles through my body and the hearts of men
are consoled by my song. Say what I am called.
Solution: a goose bone flute (the six piercings are one at either end, the three finger holes and the sound hole)
Author: Julianna Poole
I am a strange creature,
Vast and minute.
I am not opaque,
Yet I conceal exotic depths.
I am the vector of poison,
And you thirst for me.
You can freeze by my hand,
Or you can burn.
I teem with pestilence,
And I held you before you were born.
You cannot live without me,
Yet sometimes I kill.