In my medieval literature class this semester, on a bit of a whim, I made my students write riddles in an Old English style. Ahh, the joys of absolute power! Nevertheless, what they came up with was really quite good. I told them I would give them extra points if it involved kennings, further points if it was ambivalent, and some more points if it was dirty in some way (because, why not?). I suggested a few answers from which they could work backwards, but some of them went out and struck some new ground that was particularly fecund. Below are some of the randomly selected riddles. Wonderful work everyone!
I am enemy of the road-beast,
Killer of baby blossoms,
A bare, pale mistress
Whisper of opaque secrets.
White stains on a warm body,
A nighttime ghost and a child of cold seasons.
My footprints spread like wild flowers as
I kiss every still thing with my winter lips
I am clear in the dark
And slow in the light
Say what I am called.
I wear a mask but not a costume.
I wear a target but bear no prize.
I have the hands of a child and am as mischievous as one too.
I hang overhead but do not fly.
My eyes reflect the moon but not the sun.
Who am I?
It is safe to keep me constantly at hand,
Lubricated and ready for use,
For the time and place is often unknown
When one wishes to hammer, nail, or screw.
I encase and protect your instruments,
Unless I am limited by size.
Thus I am a great aid to all men,
In whatever position they wish to apply
My durable design. I contain valuable devices
Which, in cases of development, are key.
Households will grow,
If you simply open me.
Round and supple;
Of the softest surface am I.
Held up elegantly in place at the desired level by a contraption
Of wire, fabric, hooks, and straps.
The rosiest flesh encircles my centre; spherical, full, enticing to many men.
Toward me they guide a steady hand, and wish to leave their mark on my own surface. Often they force firm, fletched staffs at my set of circular curves — the desirable soft down at the base of the narrow,
tickling the other sweet spots on
each of my many contours.
The pleasure derived from contact,
intimacy of the admired inner circle
Excited. Many men and women
alike cry wonder from their
mouths at the slightest touch
Here I stand erect before you
Ready for your undivided attention
For the next 80 minutes. I will pleasure your
Double shells and penetrate your inner sponge
With my head-point
If I spit prematurely,
Please do not take offense,
I am just excited about my work.
A man can hold me tenderly
Caress my curves, play me with his fingers.
My response to his gentle and sensual play
Echoes through my body
As he holds me on his lap
Plays me, cradles me, and swiftly
Moves his hands about my hole,
I sing in various tunes.
When we rock in sync, we make sweet music.
What am I?
Change in weather makes her sharp
Inattention turns her flat
A fickle mistress she may be,
But tweak the pearl and she’ll turn sweet
Slim of neck, she likes to be cradled
Curvy of body, she sits in your lap
A heavy and will hold her mute, but
Practiced skill will get you far
As nimble fingers reap response
A sixth finger would not go amiss
Some may fear her dark round void
Where the blunted prodding plucker,
Enters in, but may not re-emerge,
It is from this hole creation spouts.
Say what I am called.
Now, these were the riddles that I chose at random from the pile. They are… saucy! If you have answers, I suggest you add to the comments. I know what they are, the writers know what they are, but do YOU?