5
$\begingroup$

The epitome of an evil the skewed letter would label
To many is such truth, not a fable
Held tightly by urges of the seconds
Within the sleepless cities that beckons

Twice I hold the path of tea
Forever you stay within me
It is not glue that binds us
Nor the substance which I fuss

Guarded by a significant worm
Your sight has gone, time to squirm
I laugh at your extravagance
I assure you my acquaintance

/* thank you for your answers they are lovely but for the bounty you need to be ugly*/

I like your answers, my brain they have fondled
Macdonalds are evil, poor old ronald
dont give poverty, metaphorical bread
teach them to farm and grow instead

sex, it is true its marked with the letter
however this is no fable you should no better
struggling I see this is a comedy
let the divine be your remedy

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are pastrami on rye. $\endgroup$ – COTO Nov 27 '14 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ Anything to do with X-rated films? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Nov 29 '14 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ There is no link to those sort of films :) $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Nov 30 '14 at 9:50
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ A 300-point bounty??! :-o $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 3 '14 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor why not :D $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Dec 3 '14 at 15:29
5
+300
$\begingroup$

A comment on the main question:

"There are a few clues to the answer now that are external to the riddle, theres no reason this isnt answered. Its no work of virgil."

It's no work of Virgil made me think immediately of a classical work - a book or author most likely.

(not necessary - and cheeky, but) in OP's profile: "I do enjoy a bit of Dante Alighieri." - the hint to look somewhere like a profile (simply "outside") is in the previous clue "There are a few clues to the answer now that are external to the riddle"

I think OP was sick of this riddle being open for so long. There is no doubt now.

In a different puzzle by the same OP: "under a septenary of hate and fear"

Dante's Comedy is about 700 years old, and the 7 sins are a major theme. (Again, this is not necessary, but OP is sick of seeing it unanswered - look at the bounty!)

We are talking about the wonderful, the magical, the most classical:

Dante's Divine Comedy

The epitome of an evil the skewed letter would label

The letter 'X' when skewed gives '+', a Christian crucifix. We are looking for something in Christian folk-lore. Wikipedia states: "Allegorically, the Purgatorio represents the Christian life.".

To many is such truth, not a fable

There are many who hold these tales to express truth - this may be a metaphor for life (as it is in my opinion), or as a literal depiection of hell.

Held tightly by urges of the seconds

We are in the midst of sin (according to the story).

Within the sleepless cities that beckons

The entire Comedy is based in Hell, in 9 layers - the sleepless cities.

Twice I hold the path of tea Forever you stay within me

"Path of tea" = a T-intersection. There were junctions explicitly mentioned in the text.

It is not glue that binds us Nor the substance which I fuss

You are on your own in Hell. It is your soul, not your body (the substance) which is at stake.

Guarded by a significant worm Your sight has gone, time to squirm

The Cerberus in Dante's Divine Comedy is described as having a worm-like head. Your sight has gone in the sense that you are powerless and dead.

I laugh at your extravagance I assure you my acquaintance

The Ceberus is the guard of gluttony and extravagance (archaically, alone, "extravagance" meant: excess and waste - i.e. gluttony). I would also suggest that: Satan or whoever is amused by our sin (extravagance), since he takes his due.

Now, look in the newly added hint to this question:

"struggling I see this is a comedy
let the divine be your remedy"

This calls for a lynch mobbing.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Give that man a Sandwich $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Dec 5 '14 at 15:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think this one warrants the king of all sandwiches... a cyanide sandwich :D $\endgroup$ – d'alar'cop Dec 5 '14 at 15:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also a bounty worth a Spartan $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Dec 5 '14 at 15:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I thought of the Divine Comedy as soon as I saw the new last two lines, but couldn't make it fit everything. Well done 'cop! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 5 '14 at 15:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would never find that. Congratulations. $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Dec 5 '14 at 16:08
7
$\begingroup$

That is my guess:

I'm loving it!
It is a Big Mac.

Why?


The epitome of an evil the skewed letter would label

It is an skewed M, and some people says that McDonald's is evil.


To many is such truth, not a fable

Some people are loving it as THE truth.
For others, it is just a junk food company with a stupid clown-like or whatever-that-is mascot.


Held tightly by urges of the seconds

It's a fast-food.


Within the sleepless cities that beckons

It is open until late night. Sometimes it is 24/7.


Twice I hold the path of tea

Hmm, don't know... Do they sell tea? If so, people would drink tea at morning and afternoon.


Forever you stay within me

People who is loving it?


It is not glue that binds us
Nor the substance which I fuss

It is money and fanatism.


Guarded by a significant worm

A worm called Ronald McDonald.
Also, there are people who says that the burgers are done from worm proteins instead of meat.


Your sight has gone, time to squirm

The people who say "I'm loving it" has surely lost their sights!


I laugh at your extravagance

People who frequent McDonald's and think that this is something special.


I assure you my acquaintance

Money, money, money, money!

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This answer is so twisted it's beautiful. +1! +10 if I could. :D $\endgroup$ – COTO Nov 28 '14 at 3:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Victor I like the answer but ronalds not a worm hes just plain scary :). $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Nov 28 '14 at 6:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Oblongamous I know, but it is as scary as a giant worm. :) $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Nov 28 '14 at 7:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Victor. I did enjoy your links to macdonalds. Dont be discouraged $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Nov 28 '14 at 8:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And they sell both sweetened and unsweetened tea (at least where I live they do). $\endgroup$ – Warlord 099 Dec 3 '14 at 18:08
5
$\begingroup$

You are

a Poor Boy Sandwich

The irony of the riddle is that the clues describe the literal interpretation of the sandwich name—the condition of poverty—rather than the sandwich itself. The word "sandwich" also displays some polysemy, which is discussed later in this response.

The epitome of an evil the skewed letter would label
To many is such truth, not a fable

The "skewed letter" is the dollar sign (\$), with "skewed" jointly referring to the fact that i) the character is "skewered" (skew'ed, in poetic parlance) by a long downstrike, ii) the character is a modified (skewed, in the general sense) version of an 'S', and iii) the character represents a concept (money) that deeply skews people's attitudes and perceptions.

The "epitome of an evil" labeled by \$ is obviously money, which some would argue is the root of all evil. Poverty, and specifically a life where earning money to survive is the crux of one's existence, is a fact of life for countless people ("To many is such truth, not a fable").

Held tightly by urges of the seconds
Within the sleepless cities that beckons

Money needs to be earned. "Time is money," as the expression goes. Whether impoverished or not, a man captivated by the need to earn money is "held tightly by urges of the seconds". Will there be enough work hours to survive? Will the bull market hold or lose support?

"Within the sleepless cities that beckons" are the sweatshops that operate at all hours, the impoverished storekeeper stocking new wares by midnight due to lack of time during the day, the indebted university student studying until 4:00 in the morning in the hopes of graduating and landing a well-paying job. The sleepless cities beckon.

Twice I hold the path of tea

This statement lends itself to the following dual interpretations:

1) The "path of tea" is to be sieved: to be held back as one's essence is extracted. Regrettably, many of the social constructs of man's societies act as a sieve for the impoverished. Education and opportunities for advancement are often inaccessible. Barriers such as lack of resources, lack of connections, and even socially-entrenched caste systems ensure the poor stay poor even as their time, labour and "essence" carry through the sieve to the benefit of society, like the flavouring of tea leaves.

2) The "path of tea" is to be unwashed. Unlike fruits and vegetables, tea leaves are virtually never washed after being harvested. Metaphorically speaking, poverty is also rarely washed off. As the labours of the poor are exploited (harvested), none of the grit and grime of their condition is washed away by the process, nor can be. A man whose poverty is washed away becomes comfortable, and a comfortable man may not be driven to harsh labour in the pursuit of money. Such a man must therefore be subject to the "path of tea" when brought to market: harvested quickly and sold without cleansing for the sake of his labour.

Forever you stay within me
It is not glue that binds us
Nor the substance which I fuss

Poverty begets poverty, as implied by the so-called "cycle of poverty". The poor are not simply bound by physical circumstances ("It is not glue that binds us") or by a lack of money (the "substance" over which we "fuss"), but also by a kind of enmity with society: a lack of education, a cultural lack of aspiration to higher things, the allure of crime, distrust of authority, and hostile cultural attitudes towards "leaving one's roots". In short, a poor boy is not simply a poor boy (one forever remaining in a condition of poverty) because he lacks money. A great many factors besides bind him to this condition.

Guarded by a significant worm
Your sight has gone, time to squirm

A "significant worm" is death, or more specifically the inevitability of death, by which all of our lives are guarded.

When a man loses his sight, he becomes unfit to work. Moreover, blindness is often the result of old age, that faithful precursor to death. Regardless of the cause, a poor man whose sight has failed him finds himself imperiled ("time to squirm"), facing the very real prospect of death in spite of his previous labours. This grim observation establishes the context for the next two lines.

I laugh at your extravagance
I assure you my acquaintance

As "I" am Poverty, Death is my more extravagant (more abundant, more ostentatious) acquaintance, afflicting not only the poor but indeed all men, cutting down their pride and their power in spectacular fashion. What laughable irony that the rich and the poor, so entrenched in their disparate circles in life, should reach a state of perfect equality in death, where all the wealth they've striven for and the possessions they've accumulated are accounted as nothing.

Perhaps this is also the ancillary meaning of "sandwich"—that all of us, whether rich or poor, are sandwiched between birth and death, with our lives as the substance that connects these extrema like the two halves of sandwich. Is ours a Poor Boy sandwich, defined by sleepless nights, the skewed letter, and the path of tea, or is it something different? What circumstances will connect the extrema of our own lives?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Wow! +1. Unfortunately this is not what the OP intended (see the edit history on the question for now-removed hints). $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 3 '14 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor: D'oh! >___< $\endgroup$ – COTO Dec 3 '14 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ @COTO Truly amazing, well thought out and beautifully written, unfortunately its not right but please dont be discouraged! $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Dec 3 '14 at 17:50
2
$\begingroup$

The epitome of an evil the skewed letter would label
To many is such truth, not a fable
Held tightly by urges of the seconds
Within the sleepless cities that beckons

The skewed letter is X (hint hidden in edit history). X is an skewed letter.
For me, this could be a reference to a sexual intercourse.
Porn films and other sex-related things frequently are labeled with the letter X.
In an intercourse the people would be tightly held together, normally in late night, making moves repeatedly and quickly (urges of the seconds).
For many people it is such truth, not fable, indeed.
So the corresponding evil would be lust.

Twice I hold the path of tea
Forever you stay within me
It is not glue that binds us
Nor the substance which I fuss

It is not TEA, it is TEE. And path is junction (hint hidden in edit history).
Grab two T's and glue them together to crate a plus sign (could be another X too, meaning sex).

Guarded by a significant worm
Your sight has gone, time to squirm

A spermatozoon.

I laugh at your extravagance
I assure you my acquaintance

The spermatozoon trying to find the ovum.

So lets join everything now:

Lust or sexual intercourse
plus (or more sex)
spermatozoon trying to find the ovum
=
PREGNANCY or BABY.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I like this one, its wrong but you interpreted one clue correctly. Give that man a partial sandwich $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Dec 4 '14 at 8:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Oblongamous - Does 'partial sandwich' mean partial bounty? :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 4 '14 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor :) unfortunately no, its the mere crumbs from the one who gets the full sandwich $\endgroup$ – Oblongamous Dec 4 '14 at 17:12

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