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A Feast of Creatures : Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Songs
A Feast of Creatures Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Songs Author:Craig Williamson In "A Feast of Creatures: Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Songs", Craig Williamson combines his training as a medievalist, anthropologist, and literary critic with his talent as a translator and poet. Here he recasts the Old English riddles of the Exeter Book into a modern verse-mode that yokes the cadences of Aelfric with the sprung rhythm of Gera... more »ld Manley Hopkins. Like the early English riddlers before him, Williamson gives voice to the nightingale, plow, ox, onion, and storm-wind. In a lean and taut language he offers us mead disguised as a mighty wrestler, the sword as a celebate thane, the silver wine-cup as a seductress, the horn transformed from head-warrior to ink-belly or battle-singer. In his Notes and Commentary he gives us possible and probable solutions, sources and analogues, a shrewd sense of literary play, and traces the literary and cultural contexts in which each riddle may be viewed. In his Introduction, Williamson traces for us the history of riddles and riddle scholarship.
The book will be of interest to medievalists and lovers of modern poetry, to anthropologists and folklorists who have swapper riddles in the field, to linguists and psychologists interested in the nature of metaphor, and to anyone who remembers as a child the glory of riddles and wants to recapture their warmth and wit.