# Who is the author of this poem?

Do you like poetry?

Then surely, you will know who wrote this poem from just one verse.

There is one problem though - the verse is presented in two parts:

. . . . t . . . . . p . h . e . . e . t . e . i . d . l . u . r x . a . t . y . e . n . e . e . . i . r . m . u . l . r . b . n . . a . u . i . . . t . s . . . . . . e . . . .

. . . t . h . . c . s . s . m . . l . e . m . s l . g . e . t . . . . t . s . .

Have fun!

Looks just like:

Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.

– from “The Isles of Greece” by George Gordon “Lord” Byron
bartleby.comsourcebooks.fordham.edu

Don’t it?

Final layout, with a honey of a story to follow.

                                                   . T .
. t '       ' h .
. p '       . h .       ' e .
. e '       . t '       ' e .       ' i
c '       . s '       . s .       ' m     :
:     d '       . l '       ' u     :     r
x     :     a '       . t     :     y     :
Start at the center----- :  -  l  -  : --> E '   :     m     :     s
e     :     n .       . e     :     e     :
:     i .       ' r '       . m     :     u
l .       ' g .       . e '       . t     :
Spiral                       ' l .       ' r '       . B '       . n
outward                         ' a .       . u '       . i '
clockwise                       ' t '       . s '
End here  t .       . s '
' e '                

The story begins without the boxes — pretty (mysterious) patterns of nearest neighbors

                                                                T
:
P         H         E
.'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.
E         T         E         I
T         H                     :         :         :         :
.'   '.   .'   '.                  D         L         U         R
C         S         S         M             .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'
'.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.        X         A         T         Y
L         E         M         S      :         :         :         :
.'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'        E         N         E         E
L         G         E         T             '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.
'.   .'   '.   .'                  I         R         M         U
T         S                     :         :         :         :
L         R         B         N
'.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'
A         U         I
:         :
(A fish swimming toward some grapes?                T         S
Poser in fact devised a lock and key.)               '.   .'
E


This was actually being prepared for posting as a community-wiki worksheet, which might as well include a plot of letter frequencies.

                            E
E
E
E                             T
E       I                 R   T U
A       E       I     L   N       R   T U
Larger part     A B   D E     H I     L M N   P   R S T U    X Y

Smaller part         C   E   G H       L M           S T
E             L M           S T
S T
S


But this triggered two conjectures.

• No letter encryption here, as the most frequent letters seem normal for English.
• The parts interleave, as the smaller part has too few vowels by itself.

Discarded pieces come back to help — the honeycomb could be sifted into 2 portions

                                                                T
.'   '.
E         T         E         I  ....
.'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'       :
X         A         T         Y          :
'.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.       :
I         R         M         U   ......
'.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'       :  :
T         H                          A         U         I          :  :
.'   '.   .'   '.                         '.   .'                      :  :
C         S         S         M                          E                         :  :
'.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.                                                 :  :
L         E         M         S                                               :  :
.'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'                                                 :  :
L         G         E         T                     P         H         E          :  :
'.   .'   '.   .'                    .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.       :  :
T         S                     D         L         U         R  ...:  :
.'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'          :
E         N         E         E             :
'.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.          :
L         R         B         N   .....:
'.   .'   '.   .'
T         S



These “fishy” pieces had been toyed with just to weaken neighborly associations that had already been noticed. They also happened to resemble each other in size and layout.

Now the key clicks into the lock

The nodes and holes of opposite-facing fishy pieces (pisces?) have complementary arrangements. How sneaky that the original grids did not give that impression and do not even merge in a vertically balanced way. But this way came together like honey filling a comb of cells.

                                                                       T
T         H                                      T    :    H
' '       ' '                                P         H         E
'   '     '   '                            .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.
'     '   '     '                         E         T         E         I
C         S         S         M                  C    :    S    :    S    :    M    :
'       ' '       ' '       ' '                      D         L         U         R
'     '   '     '   '     '   '                  .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'
'   '     '   '     '   '     '               X         A         T         Y
L         E         M         S    --->     :    L    :    E    :    M    :    S
' '       ' '       ' '       '              E         N         E         E
'   '     '   '     '   '     '                 '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'   '.
'     '   '     '   '     '   '                     I         R         M         U
L         G         E         T                  L    :    G    :    E    :    T    :
'       ' '       '                        L         R         B         N
'     '   '     '                           '.   .'   '.   .'   '.   .'
'   '     '   '                               A         U         I
T         S                                 :    T    :    S
T         S
Vertically stretched fish/key                              '.   .'
E              

And there, flowing along the top right edge, was T-H-E-I-R. The same word already suggested itself in the same area of the original grid but wasn’t surrounded by equally suggestive words. As this is the only word I’ve ever memorized from a poem, all that remained was to lick-, pack-, get- and write-up.

(Confessions: After a long time of assuming that the grids contained many blanks to be filled like my mind, I just decided to hope that every letter was already present in some form. The internet helped once the entire perimeter became a handful of words.)

• I'm glad the hexagonal structure is recognizable. As a further development, I could fold both parts to the left so there is no lock-key structure – Yuriy S Sep 24 '16 at 3:54
• Still not sure what you mean by "fold both parts to the left," @Yuriy S, but the lock-key structure, and concept, is spectacular. Diagrams are included now. This puzzle combines many dimensions in a fun way that includes a labyrinth to boot. – humn Sep 24 '16 at 6:00
• I like your interpretation very much, since the second part really looks like a fish. I hadn't noticed myself – Yuriy S Sep 24 '16 at 10:56