Thursday, February 18, 2010
The Anglo-Saxons loved riddles. They told each other riddles as well as listening to poems at their feasts. The riddles in this selection come from the Exeter Book. The “Exeter Book” (Exeter, Cathedral Library, 3501) is the name conventionally given to one of the major collections of Old English poetry. The contents, which are both secular and religious, provide a remarkable survey of later Anglo-Saxon poetic culture, and include several of the best-known anthology pieces (The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Wife’s Lament), as well as other texts.