The Exeter Book Riddles

Overview

The ninety-six Anglo-Saxon riddles in the eleventh-century Exeter Book are poems of great charm, zest, and subtlety. Ranging from natural phenomena (such as icebergs and storms at sea) to animal and bird life, from the Christian concept of the creation to prosaic domestic objects (such as a rake and a pair of bellows), and from weaponry to the peaceful pursuits of music and writing, they are full of sharp observation, earthy humour and, above all, a sense of wonder. The main text of this volume contains Kevin ...

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Overview

The ninety-six Anglo-Saxon riddles in the eleventh-century Exeter Book are poems of great charm, zest, and subtlety. Ranging from natural phenomena (such as icebergs and storms at sea) to animal and bird life, from the Christian concept of the creation to prosaic domestic objects (such as a rake and a pair of bellows), and from weaponry to the peaceful pursuits of music and writing, they are full of sharp observation, earthy humour and, above all, a sense of wonder. The main text of this volume contains Kevin Crossley-Holland’s newly-revised translations of seventy-five fascinating and discursive riddles – all those not very badly damaged or impenetrably obscure – while a further sixteen are translated in the notes. These translations are very widely anthologised in Britain and the USA. Sir Arthur Bliss and William Mathias set some of them to music, Ralph Steadman has illustrated them and Michael Fairfax has incorporated them in his Riddle Sculpture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904634461
  • Publisher: Enitharmon Press
  • Publication date: 3/2/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 134
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Crossley-Holland is a poet, translator from Anglo-Saxon and Carnegie Medal author for children. His new and selected poems, The Mountains of Norfolk, were published in the autumn of 2011, and he is the author of the bestselling Arthur trilogy, Gatty’s Tale and The Penguin Book of Norse Myths. His most recent book for children is Bracelet of Bones, in which a Viking girl travels from Norway to Constantinople, and he is the author of The Hidden Roads, a memoir of childhood praised by Rowan Williams. Kevin has worked with many composers, including Sir Arthur Bliss, William Mathias, Nicola LeFanu and Bob Chilcott, as well as with the artists Norman Ackroyd, John Lawrence and James Dodds and the photographer John Hedgecoe. With Lawrence Sail, he has edited two anthologies for Enitharmon Press: The New Exeter Book of Riddles and Light Unlocked: Christmas Card Poems. Kevin is spokesman for Look North More Often, the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree project sponsored by the Poetry Society and the Royal Norwegian Embassy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Patron of the Society for Storytelling and of Publishing House Me, and an Honorary Fellow of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Anglia Ruskin University. He has four children (Kieran, Dominic, Oenone and Eleanor) and he and his Minnesotan wife Linda live in north Norfolk.

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