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Consider the following poem:


From the frozen brook I withdrew my hand,
And I understand.
As yesterday I understood.
My sweat runs free while cutting wood.
Like yesterday's limbs and I feel I should
Have the need for planting grass
As I have done many times in the past.


  • Each line of the poem requires either a one- or two-word "answer."
  • All of the answers will have an obvious relationship, from top to bottom.
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps as a first language too:-) $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2017 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ For clarification: By "each line of the poem" do you mean each full sentence ending with a period and starting with an upper case letter? Or do you mean each literal line as in this poem has 7 "lines"? $\endgroup$
    – Dr t
    Oct 23, 2017 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ Each line break/carriage return constitues a "line," so there are 7 lines, 7 "answers." $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:27

3 Answers 3

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The poem line's meanings are as follows:

From the frozen brook I withdrew my hand,

ICY

And I understand.

I SEE

As yesterday I understood.

I SAW

My sweat runs free while cutting wood.

I SAW

Like yesterday's limbs and I feel I should

I SAWED

Have the need for planting grass

I SOD

As I have done many times in the past. 

I SODDED

For someone looking to understand the different meanings of all these very very similar seeming things, which sorta sound like various tenses of the same things and yet mean things that are quite different, this would be a frustrating experience indeed!

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  • $\begingroup$ The first five are right, but the last two are not what I intended, care to revisit/edit these? The previous pattern should hold... $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ Ding, Ding, Ding!! $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ I have heard people use the answer to the 7th line as a conjugation of the verb in the 2nd line. :( $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Chowzen ... ew. We have a couple of places 'round these parts that might help those folks. :) $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ The 5 -> 6 transition only really works in an American accent. $\endgroup$ May 23, 2019 at 14:46
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OK...I will take a shot at this one.

If the first line is "From the frozen brook I withdrew my hand," then I have no idea what the "answer" is for that one. Part of the reason for that is that if the brook is frozen and you hand is in it then your hand is frozen as well and you won't be able to withdraw your hand...just saying...

For the second line "And I understand" I believe the answer is:

Know -- As in "understand"

For the third line "As yesterday I understood." I believe the answer is:

Knew -- As in "understood"

For the fourth line "My sweat runs free while cutting wood." I believe the answer is:

Hew -- As in cutting wood

For the fifth line "Like yesterday's limbs and I feel I should" I believe the answer is:

Hewn (I hope that is an actual word!!) -- As in having cut wood

For the sixth line "Have the need for planting grass" I believe the answer is:

Sow (That is the planting of seeds version of the word!) -- As in planting seeds

For the seventh line "As I have done many times in the past." I believe the answer is:

Sown (And again I do hope that is a real word!! :) ) -- As in having planted seeds

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  • $\begingroup$ "frozen" doesn't necessarily mean "frozen solid." I could put my hand in a "Frozen Margarita" and pull it out at will... just saying... $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Oct 24, 2017 at 14:44
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All the phrases are related to

verbs that have an irregular past tense (or two)

Probably still missed some, but here are the ones I noticed

From the frozen brook I withdrew my hand,

freeze/frozen, withdraw/withdrew, take/took (synonym of withdraw, rhymes with brook)

And I understand.

understand/understood

As yesterday I understood.

see/saw is a synonym for understand/understood

My sweat runs free while cutting wood.

run/ran, cut/cut, saw/sawn

Like yesterday's limbs and I feel I should

shall/should (modal verbs can have tenses too, I hear/heard :-)

Have the need for planting grass

have/had, sow/sown

As I have done many times in the past.

do/done

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    $\begingroup$ If your observations aren't on the right track, @Bass, a new puzzle could make use of them. Incidentally, you probably meant (this word) in one place. $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Oct 23, 2017 at 8:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass I agree with humn that a new puzzle with irregular verbs might be interesting, but this not what I intended. $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Oct 23, 2017 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Oh? Given that every single verb in the poem is irregular, as well as every action alluded to, I was already pretty certain I had got it. Oh, well. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Oct 23, 2017 at 15:01

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