Spotlight Poetry – A Riddle – A Poem by Jonathan Swift

The image depicts a painting titled Winter by the artist Cristina Stefan. The work is an abstract winter landscape painting. The artist has used a limited palette of cold colours that infer the onset of Winter.The image supports the poem A Riddle written by the poet Jonathan Swift.
© Cristina Stefan, Winter, 2016

A Riddle by Jonathan Swift

From Heaven I fall, though from earth I begin.
No lady alive can show such a skin.

I’m bright as an angel, and light as a feather,
But heavy and dark, when you squeeze me together.
Though candor and truth in my aspect I bear,
Yet many poor creatures I help to insnare.

Though so much of Heaven appears in my make,
The foulest impressions I easily take.
My parent and I produce one another,
The Mother the Daughter, the Daughter the Mother.

In the poem above, Jonathan Swift uses the traditional form of the riddle to find creative ways of getting one to think about and help one to find the answer to the poetic puzzle.

Can you solve the riddle?

Poem Attribution © Jonathan Swift, A Riddle

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Painting Attribution © Cristina Stefan, Winter, 2016

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