Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Anglo-Saxon Riddles

While I'm on ths subject of things medieval, I would like to do something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I have to go back some centuries earlier than The Trotula, but since some of this stuff will appear in my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece, I'm going to do it. What is it? Anglo-Saxon riddles. Some of these riddles(and the English at that time were great "riddlers", just as some African people are today), are rather obscure, or have possible multiple answers. Others are less "obscure", but may seem a bit "racy" to people living today. The people of Anglo-Saxon England had that in common with some sub-Saharan African "riddlers" too. Some of them are just incomplete. They can be found at the website Anglo-Saxon Riddles. They are fascinating!

Here is a sample of some of them.

Riddle #43
I heard of something rising in a corner,
Swelling and standing up, lifting its cover.
The proud-hearted bride grabbed at that boneless
Wonder with her hands, the prince's daughter
Covered that swelling thing with a swirl of cloth.

Riddle #23
I am a wonderful help to women,
The hope of something to come. I harm
No citizen, except my slayer.
Rooted I stand in a high bed.
I am shaggy below. Sometimes the beautiful
Peasant's daughter, an eager-armed,
Proud woman, grabs my body,
Rushes my red skin, holds me hard,
Claims my head. The curly-haired
Woman who catches me fast will feel
Our meeting. Her eyes will be wet.

See if you can guess the answers! If not, they are provided on the same site. Or maybe I'll be nice and provide them for you. In any case, this is a little window into how some people of that time looked at the world.
Anne G

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