The Old Man’s Song – an Inuit poem

The Old Man’s Song (an Inuit poem)

I have grown old,
I have lived much,
Many things I understand,
But four riddles I cannot solve.

The sun’s origin,
The moon’s nature,
The minds of women,
And why people have so many lice.

Anonymous translated by Peter Freuchen

Of course, Inuit poets frequently mean the opposite of what they say, and when they
list all the things they cannot do they are sometimes simply making sure that people
know that they are, in fact, highly accomplished men and women who are simply
too polite to brag.


About The Henry Brothers

We are English teachers involved in ELT publishing in Turkey, and also touring the country giving workshops and presentations to English teachers, mainly on the use of poetry, storytelling and other lively activities in the classroom. We can be contacted by e-mail to or
This entry was posted in The Henry Brothers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

We'd love to hear your views on this post. Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s