Bern Riddle 32: De spongia


Date: Sat 28 Nov 2020
Matching Commentaries: Commentary for Bern Riddle 32: De spongia
Original text:
Dissimilem sibi dat mihi mater figuram;
Caro nulla mihi, sed viscera cava latebris.
Sumere nil possum, si non absorbuero matrem,
Et quae me concepit, hanc ego genero postquam.
Manu capta levis, gravis sum manu dimissa,
Et quem sumpsi libens, mox cogor reddere sumptum.
My mother gives me a face unlike hers;
I have no flesh, but only hollow insides with hidden places.
I cannot grasp anything if I have not swallowed my mother,
and afterwards I birth the woman who conceived me.
Light, I am grasped by the hand. Heavy, I am released by the hand.
And I am soon forced to return that which I willingly took.
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This edition is based on Karl Strecker, ed., Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, Vol. 4.2 (Berlin, MGH/Weidmann, 1923), page 748.

A list of variant readings can be found in Fr. Glorie, ed., Variae collectiones aenigmatum Merovingicae aetatis, Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina 133A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1968), page 578.

Tags: latin  Bern Riddles