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Moyshelé Rosencrantz,
Maker of Riddles

a collection of skillfully crafted riddles in the Old English style


Here it is, the Moyshelé Rosencrantz website, collecting articles and other material by and about the author of Moyshelé Rosencrantz, Maker of Riddles. You'll find a wealth of articles on Moyshelé's blog, covering material from his grandfather's two-year trek (by foot) from Russia to Israel in 1927-1929, a number of Moyshelé's singable translations of the great French singer-songwriter Georges Brassens, his recordings of some of his favourite songs in Yiddish, and his adventures in adoption land, not to mention regular book reviews.

Old English Riddles & Scops

Among other subjects, we deal on this site with Old English Literature in general, as transmitted by the tribal scops and the monks which followed them (see introduction), but also with riddles themselves, as they are manifested in any culture, and especially with literary riddles, as in the following delightful example from Maker of Riddles:

I'm awoken at twilight to work until bedtime,
Drops of my sweat slowly dripping down.
A steady worker, my size wanes,
Dwindling down with my decomposing spine -
Blow on my face, free me from my fate!

Your guess:

illustration by Philippe Tauzin


For more articles by Moyshelé Rosencrantz:

Guess riddles

If you already own a copy of "Moyshelé Rosencrantz, Maker of Riddles", you can try to guess them here. An e-mail response will tell you if you go it right, and if not, why not.

A bit about Old English riddles...

The riddle to the left is taken from Maker of Riddles, a book of modern day riddles in the Old English style. It is inspired by the example of the Exeter Book, an Old English manuscript dating back to the 10th century.

The manuscript itself is one of the few written remnants of a rich oral tradition brought over by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes as they invaded Roman Britain with the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Passed on by word of mouth over generations of itinerant bards, or scops, the Anglo-Saxon literature ranges from epic poems such as Beowulf to these simple, delightful enigmas, describing everyday objects in a way which purposely leads the audience astray.

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