Who makes it, has no need of it. Who buys it, has no use for it. Who uses it can neither see nor feel it.
Tell me what a dozen rubber trees with thirty boughs on each might be?
months of the year
As I went over London Bridge I met my sister Jenny I broke her neck and drank her blood And left her standing empty
It is said among my people that some things are improved by death. Tell me, what stinks while living, but in death, smells good?
All right. Riddle me this: what goes through the door without pinching itself? What sits on the stove without burning itself? What sits on the table and is not ashamed?
What work is it that the faster you work, the longer it is before you're done, and the slower you work, the sooner you're finished?
roasting meat on a spit
Whilst I was engaged in sitting I spied the dead carrying the living.
I know a word of letters three. Add two, and fewer there will be.
I give you a group of three. One is sitting down, and will never get up. The second eats as much as is given to him, yet is always hungry. The third goes away and never returns.
stove, fire, and smoke
Whoever makes it, tells it not. Whoever takes it, knows it not. And whoever knows it wants it not.
Two words, my answer is only two words. To keep me, you must give me.
Sir, I bear a rhyme excelling In mystic force and magic spelling Celestial sprites elucidate All my own striving can't relate
Pi (digits given by length of words)
There is not wind enough to twirl That one red leaf, nearest of its clan, Which dances as often as dance it can.
the sun, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Half-way up the hill, I see thee at last Lying beneath me with thy sounds and sights -- A city in the twilight, dim and vast, With smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights.
the past, Longfellow
I am, in truth, a yellow fork From tables in the sky By inadvertent fingers dropped The awful cutlery. Of mansions never quite disclosed And never quite concealed The apparatus of the dark To ignorance revealed.
lightning, Emily Dickinson
Many-maned scud-thumper, Maker of worn wood, Shrub-ruster, Sky-mocker, Rave! Portly pusher, Wind-slave.
the ocean, John Updike
Make me thy lyre, even as the forests are. What if my leaves fell like its own -- The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep autumnal tone.
the west wind, Percy Bysshe Shelley
This darksome burn, horseback brown, His rollock highroad roaring down, In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam Flutes and low to the body falls home.
river, Gerard Manley Hopkins
I've measured it from side to side, 'Tis three feet long and two feet wide. It is of compass small, and bare To thirsty suns and parching air.
the grave of a child, Wordsworth
My love, when I gaze on thy beautiful face, Careering along, yet always in place -- The thought has often come into my mind If I ever shall see thy glorious behind.
the moon, Sir Edmund Gosse
Then all thy feculent majesty recalls The nauseous mustiness of forsaken bowers, The leprous nudity of deserted halls -- The positive nastiness of sullied flowers. And I mark the colours, yellow and black, That fresco thy lithe, dictatorial thighs.
spider, Francis Saltus Saltus
When young, I am sweet in the sun. When middle-aged, I make you gay. When old, I am valued more than ever.
I am always hungry, I must always be fed, The finger I lick Will soon turn red.
All about, but cannot be seen, Can be captured, cannot be held, No throat, but can be heard.
I am only useful When I am full, Yet I am always Full of holes.
sieve (or sponge)
If you break me I do not stop working, If you touch me I may be snared, If you lose me Nothing will matter.
If a man carried my burden He would break his back. I am not rich, But leave silver in my track.
Until I am measured I am not known, Yet how you miss me When I have flown.
I drive men mad For love of me, Easily beaten, Never free.
When set loose I fly away, Never so cursed As when I go astray.
I go around in circles But always straight ahead, Never complain No matter where I am led.
Lighter than what I am made of, More of me is hidden Than is seen.
I turn around once, What is out will not get in. I turn around again, What is in will not get out.
Each morning I appear To lie at your feet, All day I will follow No matter how fast you run, Yet I nearly perish In the midday sun.
Weight in my belly, Trees on my back, Nails in my ribs, Feet I do lack.
Bright as diamonds, Loud as thunder, Never still, A thing of wonder.
My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick Fat, I am slow Wind is my foe.
To unravel me You need a simple key, No key that was made By locksmith's hand, But a key that only I Will understand.
I am seen in the water If seen in the sky, I am in the rainbow, A jay's feather, And lapis lazuli.
Glittering points That downward thrust, Sparkling spears That never rust.
You heard me before, Yet you hear me again, Then I die, 'Till you call me again.
Three lives have I. Gentle enough to soothe the skin, Light enough to caress the sky, Hard enough to crack rocks.
You can see nothing else When you look in my face, I will look you in the eye And I will never lie.
Lovely and round, I shine with pale light, grown in the darkness, A lady's delight.
At the sound of me, men may dream Or stamp their feet At the sound of me, women may laugh Or sometimes weep
When I am filled I can point the way, When I am empty Nothing moves me, I have two skins One without and one within.
My tines be long, My tines be short My tines end ere My first report. What am I?
The letter 'v'.
As a whole, I am both safe and secure. Behead me, and I become a place of meeting. Behead me again, and I am the partner of ready. Restore me, and I become the domain of beasts. What am I?
Hyphen. The first two lines yield high-fen. A hyphen is used by a writer to tie (or cramp) two words together.
The answer is one from nine.
Using Roman numerals, a hundred and one is CI and fifty is L. Divide CI by L gives CLI, add cypher (0) to the right gives the answer: Clio, being the name of one of the nine muses from Greek Mythology.
What does man love more than life Fear more than death or mortal strife What the poor have, the rich require, and what contented men desire, What the miser spends and the spendthrift saves And all men carry to their graves?
Five hundred begins it, five hundred ends it, Five in the middle is seen; First of all figures, the first of all letters, Take up their stations between. Join all together, and then you will bring Before you the name of an eminent king.
DAVID (Roman numerals)
'Tween marble walls, white as milk, Lined with a skin as soft as silk, Within a fountain, crystal clear, A golden apple doth appear. No doors or locks has this stronghold, Yet thieves break in, and steal the gold.
The Great Wall of China
We are airy little creatures, All of different voice and features; One of us in "glass" is set, One of us you'll find in "jet," T'other you may see in "tin," And the fourth a "box" within. If the fifth you should pursue, It can never fly from "you."
The vowels AEIOU (Jonathan Swift)
A headless man had a letter to write; He who read it had lost his sight; The dumb repeated it word for word; And deaf was he who listened and heard.
The letter "O" for zero or nothing (Henry E. Dudeney, A Puzzle-Mine, #337)
They call me a man, but I'll never have a wife. I was given a body, but not given life. They made me a mouth, but didn't give me breath. Water gives me life and sun brings me death. What am I?