Monday, October 30, 2006

Aenigmata by Symphosius

In the latest issue of Poetry, Richard Wilbur has published some translations of ancient Latin 'riddle' poetry, written by Symphosius in the fourth or fifth century. Richar Wilbur has done some originals of these himself, and they're pretty great. I didn't know it was a genre establised a long time ago. Hopefully Poetry won't sue me if I copy a few here:
I wear night's face, although not black of skin,
And at high noon I bring the darkness in,
Ere Cynthia's beams, or starlight, can begin.

I once was water, and soon shall be again.
Strict heaven binds me now by many a chain.
I crack when trodden, and when held give pain.

Light dust of water fallen from the sky,
I'm wet in summer and in winter dry.
Ere I make rivers, whole lands I occupy.

Long daughter of the forest, swift of pace,
In whom old neighbors join as beam and brace,
I speed on many paths, yet leave no trace.

Athena schooled me in the weaver's trade.
The robes I make require no shuttle's aid.
I have no hands; by feet my works are made.
And these are the easy ones, I think. Forget about Sudoku, get the latest issue of Poetry!


Blogger Rufus McCain said...

I managed the NYT crossword puzzle on my lunchbreak today. (OK, it was a two-hour lunchbreak.)

11:32 PM  
Blogger Quin Finnegan said...

That's better than I could do. For all my love of Scrabble, I've never been able to make much progress with crossword puzzles. And I've burnt out on Sudoku.

3:10 PM  

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