Love Poems from the New Kingdom of AncientEgypt (Study Guide)

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Study Guide for Love Poems from the New Kingdom of AncientEgypt These poems are taken from John L. Foster: Love Songs of the New Kingdom (New York: Scribner, 1974). However, other editions are available. Barbara Hughes Fowler: Love Lyrics of Ancient Egypt (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994).Ezra Pound and Noel Stock: Love Poems of Ancient Egypt (Norfolk, Conn.: New Directions,1962). The New Kingdom of ancient Egypt is still quite ancient; it began after the fall of the invadingHyksos around 1575 BCE and lasted until 1087 BCE. The numerous love poems from thisperiod illuminate many of the attitudes of the Egyptians and seem to have been powerfullyinfluential on other peoples, notably the Hebrews, whose own love poetry bears some strikingresemblances to them. As is the case with most ancient verse, none of the authors` names areknown. They lack titles, and are referred to here by their first lines.Sometimes we think of the Egyptians as a gloomy, death-obsessed people; but that is onlybecause we interpret them through the distorted lens of their tombs. The nobles among them atleast yearned for an afterlife because they enjoyed this life too much to want to leave it. Theirpainting and poetry celebrates the pleasures of food, music, dance, and love.Once more you pass her house, deep in thoughtThis poem strongly resembles a number of Roman poems in which the lover, preventedfrom being with his beloved for some reason, speaks to the door, blaming it for his ...

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