1. The Natural Analogy: Difficulties, Gaps, and Irritations -- 2. Getting Around the Cipher: Translating the Uncooperative Text -- 3. Metrical and Stylistic Analyses -- 4. Grappling with the Gnomic: Modern and Medieval Concepts of Image and Connection -- 5. The Vanishing Point: Deixis and Conjunction -- 6. The Third Thing: Context as Connection in Gnomic and Nature Poetry -- 7. Intentional Difficulty in Early Welsh Poetry -- 8. Clarity and Obscurity in Old English Poetry -- Afterword: Between Worlds -- Appendix: Selected Texts and Translations. Laments. 1. The Seafarer. 2. The Sick Man (Leper) of Abercuawg. 3. The Song of the Old Man. Gnomes and Nature Poems. 4. Maxims II. 5. Let the Cock's Comb Be Red. 6. Keen the Wind. Enigmas. 7. Wulf and Eadwacer. 8. Angar Kyfyndawt.