Sunday, February 18, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Leo Rosten

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What's green, hangs on a wall and whistles?
--
Riddle presented in The Joys of Yiddish (1968) The answer: "A Herring" because you can paint it green, nail it to the wall and the whistling part is added just to make the riddle hard." Rosten did not claim to be the author of this riddle, but he popularized it.

 
Leo Rosten

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Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.

 
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The night wind rises. Does my father live?
Dark hangs upon the waters of the soul.
My flesh is breathing slower than a wall.
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There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified
Who died to save us all.

 
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There's a place in the world for the angry young man
With his working class ties and his radical plans
He refuses to bend he refuses to crawl
And he's always at home with his back to the wall
And he's proud of his scars and the battles he's lost
And struggles and bleeds as he hangs on his cross
And likes to be known as the angry young man.

 
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Turn on your side and bear the day to me
Beloved, sceptre-struck, immured
In the glass wall of sleep. Slowly
Uncloud the borealis of your eye
And show your iceberg secrets, your midnight prizes
To the green-eyed world and to me.

 
George Barker
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