Egyptian Poetry

Presented by: Michelle Lewis and Jarell Ferguson


  Background Information

o   Egyptian Poetry was written in hieroglyphics.

o   Old Kingdom Period (ca. 2575 -2130 B.C.)

o   Many Egyptian poetry was prosaic and repetitive.

  Love Songs

o   Most appealing type of poetry

o   Moods and attitudes vary

o   Ramesside period (ca. 1300- 1100 B.C)

o   Written on papyri

  Themes of the poems

o   My love is one and only, without peer

  Love, obsession

o   Love, how Id love to slip down to the pond

  Love , seduction

  Imagery/ Figurative Language

o   My love is one and only, without peer

  Compares her to a goddess, the horizon and gold

o   Love, how Id love to slip down to the pond

  Male fantasy, gift of love and little red fish

  Purpose and Sexual Politics

o   My love is one and only, without peer

  Man talking about a women, he may know her personally/may not

  Reveals how women compare to the beauty of the world, he expresses his feelings.

o   Love, how Id love to slip down to the pond

  She is trying to seduce and gain his attention

  Express her physical love and affection.

  To What extent do the poems reflect the community of the peers of the narrator?

o   Views are acceptable

o   Views are not unusual but natural

o   Good reflection of the community







Text Box: My love is one and only, without peer

My love is one and only without peer, 

lovely above all Egypts lovely girls.

On the horizon of my seeing,

 see her, rising,

Glistening goddess of the sunrise star

        bright in the forehead of a lucky year.

So there she stands, epitome

        of shining, shedding light,

Her eyebrows, gleaming darkly, marking

        eyes which dance and wander.

Sweet are those lips, which chatter

        (but never too much),

And the line of the long neck lovely, dropping

        (since songs notes slide that way),

To young breasts firm in the bouncing light

which shimmers that blueshadowed  sidefall of  hair

And slim are those arms, overtoned with gold,

Text Box: Love, how Id love to slip down to the pond

those fingers which touch like a brush of lotus. 

And (ah) how the curve of her back slips gently

by a whisper of waist to Gods plenty below.

(Such thighs as hers pass knowledge

        of  loveliness known in the old days.)

Dressed in the perfect flesh of women

        (heart would run captive to such slim arms),

                        she ladies it over the earth,

Schooling  the neck of each schoolboy male

        to swing on a swivel to see her  move.

(He who could hold that body tight

                        would know at last

                                        perfection of delight

Best of the bullyboys,

                        first among lovers.)

Look you, all men, at that golden going,

                        like Our Lady of Love,              

                                                        without peer.




Love, how Id love to slip down to the pond,

        bathe with you close by on the bank.

Just for you Id wear my new Memphis swimsuit,

        made of sheer linen, fit for a queen

Come see how it looks in the water!

 Couldnt I coax you to wade in with me?

let the cool creep slowly around us

Then Id dive deep down

        and come up for your dripping,

Let fill your eyes


with the little red fish Id catch.

 And Id say standing there tall in the shallows:

Look at my fish , love

        how it lies in my hand,

How my fingers caress it,

        slip down its sides. . .

 But then Id say softer,

        eyes bright with your seeing:

                        A gift, love. No words.

        Come closer and

look its all me.