Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Contributors | September 15, 2015

    Mary Karr: IMG Memoir Tutorials with Mary Karr, Lena Dunham, and Gary Shteyngart

    Editor's note: It's been 20 years since the groundbreaking memoir The Liars' Club sent Mary Karr into the literary spotlight with its phenomenal... Continue »
    1. $17.49 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      The Art of Memoir

      Mary Karr 9780062223067


On Order

New Trade Paper
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Anthologies- United Kingdom Poetry

Old English Riddles: From the Exeter Book


Old English Riddles: From the Exeter Book Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this new and revised edition of a popular Anvil Press classic, Michael Alexander presents a selection of these ingenious and enigmatic poems—with possible “solutions” given in an appendix—in versions that capture their peculiar, often ribald, suggestiveness and vigor.

The riddles survive through the Exeter Book, a manuscript dating back to the year 1000, left to Exeter Cathedral by its first bishop, Leofric. Yet the poems, drawn as they were from an earlier tradition, predate the Exeter Book perhaps by centuries. Although scholars once believed them to be the work of one eighth-century poet, Cynewulf, the variety of styles, subject matter, and levels of literary sophistication make it likely that they were the work of many authors over many years. They provide invaluable insight into life in Anglo-Saxon England, reflecting the everyday concerns and attitudes of an essentially agricultural and pious society. Some refer to the natural environment, animals, and the climate; others describe household objects or farming implements, even weaponry. In their expressive concision, the riddles are striking poems.

Michael Alexander was, until his recent retirement, honorary professor of English at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Educated at Oxford, Perugia, and Princeton universities, he is the author of three Penguin Classic titles, The Earliest English Poets, Beowulf, and The Canterbury Tales: The First Fragment. His other works include The Poetic Achievement of Ezra Pound (1981) and A History of English Literature (2000). His latest work, Medievalism: The Middle Ages in Modern England, was published by Yale University Press in 2006.


A new, revised edition of an ancient English Classic from England's oldest independent poetry press.

About the Author

Michael Alexander was Honorary Professor of English Literature at St Andrew's University, Scotland. He translated "The Earliest English Poems" and "Beowulf" (both Penguin Classics). His critical study "The Poetic Achievement of Ezra Pound" (1979) won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. He published "A History of Old English Literature". He is currently working on a monogram ["Medievalism"] for Yale University Press.

Product Details

Alexander, Michael
Anvil Press Poetry
General Poetry
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Anthologies-United Kingdom Poetry
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.5 x 5.5 in

Other books you might like

  1. Mediator #01: The Mediator #1:...
    Used Mass Market $2.95
  2. Charles Dickens (Who) (Who Wrote That?) New Library Bound $44.50
  3. The Organic Gardener's Handbook of...
    Used Trade Paper $15.95
  4. Skybreaker Used Mass Market $3.95
  5. Firekeeper: Selected Poems Used Trade Paper $8.95
  6. American Smooth: Poems Used Hardcover $10.95

Related Subjects

» Business » General
» Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » United Kingdom » Poetry
» Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Old English Language

Old English Riddles: From the Exeter Book New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.25 Backorder
Product details 96 pages Anvil Press Poetry - English 9780856463785 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A new, revised edition of an ancient English Classic from England's oldest independent poetry press.
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at