Poetry has been a mode of expressing feelings for thousands of years and probably one of the most beautiful types of poetry is love poetry. Poetry allows the writer to take their feelings and express them in such a way that their emotions are conveyed more desirably than in traditional speaking or writing due to the use imagery, symbolism, allegory and other poetical tools. Love poems have the ability to show the beauty of love and give life to feelings.
Love poetry goes back in history thousands of years. In Egypt visual depictions and writings were found on shattered pottery and papyrus that were as old as 1000 B.C. The love poetry discovered had distinct similarities to the poetry found in the Bible in the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs although the Egyptians poetry was written much earlier (Puchner 28). The poetry found often tells a story of a young boy and girl and their romance and attraction. It takes turns going back and forth between the two of them as they share their deep desires as well as their fears and frustrations.
In Egyptian poetry, the boy and girl often refer to each other as brother and sister, not because they are necessarily related but simply as a general term of endearment (Puchner 28). These young adults were probably still under their parents houses and therefore were not allowed to be seen together and their romance had to be hidden. Although they were young they still had deep feelings for each as witnessed in this beautiful poetry.
In the compilation of poems known as The Beginning of the Song that Diverts the Heart the boy and girl take turns telling their feelings. In the selection “My god, my lotus” both the girl speaks and then the boy. This poem is full of symbolism. In the title ...
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... leaving her. It is the morning after a night of intimacy and rather than stay in bed with her, he chooses to leave. She asks if it is the fact that his feelings have changed after the night. She asks if he is concerned about clothing and that she has a sheet. She asks if he is hungry and that she will feed him with her breasts. She concludes that she would rather spend one day embraced with him than thousands doing anything else. This poem in particular shows that even then she was afraid of the same things girl in this time are afraid of: being used, rejection, and mostly unrequited love.
These Egyptian love poems are beautiful and show us that life in ancient times was no different than today because people have not changed. Society and cultures are different. Everything is different but the nature of humans is still the same. We still yearn to love and be loved.
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