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I.

My mirror image is never that far,
I have five different points like a star,
While I have no mouth that I can employ,
I do make a loud sound when filled with joy.

Have a try,
Who am I?

II.

I’m an acrobat and a chatty chap,
I travel with friends but I need no map,
I feed my children the milk of the sea,
And in France, I’m considered royalty.

Have a try,
Who am I?

III.

Father of a large noted family,
I made ends meet by fixing people’s keys;
A local man of esteem when alive,
Eighty years after my death I arrived.

Have a try,
Who am I?

IV

I am so very dark and moist inside,
My round structure may crumble on all sides,
Yet people love to visit every day,
And they often take a drink on the way.

Have a try,
Who am I?

V.

The most powerful thing that can be worn,
Yet I require little strength to be borne,
My rarity has increased up to now,
In England, I still make some people bow.

Have a try,
Who am I?

VI.

I’m among the world’s most unwelcome guests,
I crash whichever party I like best,
And am known as an dirty reveler,
Though, I am a beautiful traveler.

Have a try,
Who am I?

VII.

With a saint for a ride, I almost failed,
Not so sure about the shape of the trail,
But I pressed on as the road ahead curled,
Surprised to find what seemed like a new world.

Have a try,
Who am I?

VIII.

Like a rainbow I’m gone in a short time,
And my bow shape leaves only a moist slime,
But unlike a rainbow, less of a blur,
And, at least outside, only one color.

Have a try,
Who am I?

IX.

Turn me upside down and I’m right side up
Empty my glass and you fill up my cup,
I’m always on time and I’m never late,
I never go backwards at any rate.

Have a try,
Who am I?

X.

A loud sound of joy comes out of my mouth
Or a loud sound that could cause someone’s death,
Or a loud sound that could start a contest,
Or a loud sound that lays someone to rest.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XI.

I am the most expensive fruit on earth,
Though from a plant I did not come forth,
I traveled a long way from the Far East,
One on your desk is enough for a feast.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XII.

A composer of the English Baroque,
Although it was German that I first spoke
And I wrote operas for Italian,
Of language and fireworks, I was a fan.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XIII.

Sink this ship last or the war is for naught,
All other enemies should be first caught,
This one’s the evilest looking of them,
Shaped like infinity is its emblem.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XIV.

Fifty years after my country’s grand birth,
To the very day when its stars came forth,
And the same day the third president died,
Would you believe I also died?  No lie.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XV.

I started a great war in ancient Greece,
And since then my great fame has never ceased,
A body part, drink, company, and tree,
All get their names just from  little old me.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XVI.

I was found in a lake, but stuck in stone,
So mighty that others I have outshone,
Helping to create a future country,
A timeless symbol or just a story?

Have a try,
Who am I?

XVII.

Some claim that I’m nothing more than a dream
Fiction more powerful than any cream,
In fact, youth is first a state of the mind,
Just ask Ponce de Leon what he did find.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XVIII.

They call me the sun, for my great kingdom
Has something better than plebeian freedom
It has a planet-like path bound to me
And the epic vision for France I see.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XIX.

My face is on a U.S. bill you’ve spent,
But I am not a U.S. president,
My skin is fairer than most that you’ve seen,
I got a bad burn in 1814.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XX.

I am a fruit and I’m also a bird,
And a people’s name, does that seem absurd?
At least all three me’s are from the same place,
A big island you can pick out from space.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXI.

I am the master of the four seasons,
I can turn the summer storm off or on,
Deftly pulling strings and blowing the winds,
Such power, three hundred years couldn’t rescind.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXII.

My favorite is a hot summer’s day,
When you take a break, I go on display,
Just don’t look close at my dark ugly spots,
If you wait too long I might start to rot.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXIII.

Did I go blind from seeing Heaven’s light?
Did I glimpse paradise and lost my sight?
When I wrote it all down in human verse,
Was I in human suffering immersed?

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXIV.

An auspicious gift or a deadly plot?
If you were standing there, right on the spot,
Would you sense the fall of a great city?
I gallop over sin, without pity.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXV.

I am a net for catching intruders,
A weapon for a cold blooded murder
An elegant plate for eating supper
And a mode of transport that is super.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXVI.

A Columbia University drop out,
I had British troops to think about;
I’m the founder of the U.S. coastguard
And the nation’s first financial steward.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXVII.

Right, left, up, down, backwards, and upside down,
There’s no direction that I have not flown,
But don’t expect me to show up in war
The sweet life is what I am living for.
Have a try,
Who am I?

XXVIII.

How come an insect enlarged would not fly
Yet saints from East and West rise in the sky?
Why does an apple fall down from a tree?
It is because of me not gravity.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXIX.

An Italian who made the flat world round,
I made a meal that today still astounds,
And is subject of countless replicas,
But contains no spices from America.

Have a try,
Who am I?

XXX.

I used to fly poorly, but now I swim,
Sometimes I would cross the road on a whim,
I’m medicine for the sick, stuck in bed,
Even though I, myself, float around dead.

Have a try,
Who am I?

Click here for more riddles

**********ANSWERS BELOW************

 

I. Hand II. Dolphin III. Bach IV. Chocolate Chip Cookie (Chocolate Cookie also acceptable) V. Royal Crown VI. Meteor (or Comet) VII. Christopher Columbus VIII. Banana IX. Hourglass X. Gun XI. Apple Computer XII. Handel XIII. Eight Ball XIV. John Adams XV. Apple XVI. Excalibur XVII. Fountain of Youth XVIII. The Sun King or Louis XIV XIX. The White House XX. Kiwi XXI. Vivaldi XXII. Watermelon XXIII. John Milton XXIV. The Trojan Horse XXV. A spider web  XXVI. Alexander Hamilton XXVII. A Hummingbird (or Bee) XXVIII.  A Molecule XIX. Leonardo Da Vinci XXX. The Chicken in Chicken Noodle Soup

Evan Mantyk is a poet and English teacher living in New York.

Featured Image: “Samson Putting Forth His Riddles at the Wedding Feast” by Rembrandt, 1638, Oil on canvas, Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany.

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5 Responses

  1. Jane Elkin

    1. hand
    2. dolphin
    3. Bach
    4 ?
    5. crown
    6. fly?
    7. Columbus
    8 ?
    9. hourglass
    10. trumpet/bugle
    11. ?
    12. Handel
    13. ?
    14. Jefferson
    15. ?
    16. Excalibur
    17. Fountain of Youth
    18. Louis XIV
    19. Alexander Hamilton
    20. kiwi
    21-26?
    27. bee
    28-30?

    Reply
    • Evan Mantyk

      Good Jane! You have more than a few right, and only two or three wrong. We are going to change the timing and will announce the answers on October 1, 2013. If you want to know the answers sooner just email me at submissions@classicalpoets.org

      Reply
  2. Bruce Dale Wise

    I liked your 30 Riddles. They are reminiscent of those in Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I thought Jane Elkin did an excellent job
    of guessing; although I thought X. a hand gun. I preferred those, like I., that were not on individuals, although I did enjoy
    the wit of XXI—Vivaldi.

    Rembrandt’s Samson Putting Forth his Riddle at the Wedding Feast: 1638

    In Rembrandt’s Samson Putting Forth his Riddle at
    the Wedding Feast, his bride-to-be, a Philistine,
    is seated on a dais, in a gold glow that
    lights the surrounding darkness. Timeless, still, she’s seen
    face fore; a group of ladies fidget at her right.
    Conversing at her left is Samson; he’s speaking,
    face turned left, to a group of men, his dress gold-bright:
    “Out of the eater came forth meat; out of the strong
    came something sweet.” If they can bring th’ answer to light
    in seven days, he’ll give them garments; but if not
    they will repay in kind. Here is a bold Rembrandt,
    the warmer tones of red and yellow coming on.

    Reply
  3. Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi

    Dear Evan Mantyk,

    I love the Riddles! And with your permission, I would like to take these to the men in prison where I teach my creative writing and poetry class. I think this would be a fabulous exercise for them as well as an inspiration tool for a writing prompt to have them come up with their own styles/forms of riddles in verse. Thanks for your consideration, Evan. You are such a gifted writer! Shari ;-0

    Reply

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