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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Poetry: older than Valentine's Day

Have you ever written a love poem? Or received a love poem in a Valentine? I have. Poetry and love go together. Both are intense, powerful and vivid, heightening all the senses. Images of the beloved linger in the mind like the lines of well-remembered verse.

"The wild goose flies up and soars,

She sinks down upon the net.

The birds cry in flocks,

But I hasten homeward,

Since I care for your love alone."

Like love itself, poetry is old. I believe that as soon as we could speak, we composed poetry. By the time of the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt, 3000 years ago, love poetry was an accepted literary form. The man would call the woman "sister" and she call him "Brother" as expressions of intimacy. Each would speak of their longing and delight, using images of nature, trees and flowers.

"I am thy first sister. I am unto thee like a garden, which I have planted with flowers and with all manner of sweet-smelling herbs."

"Shedeh-wine it is, my hearing of thy voice, and I live because I hear it."

Reading such words, I am transported to the Nile and the young lovers, the man and woman who longed for each other and who adorned themselves with garlands and perfumes as each waited for the beloved to appear.

Truly, another magic of love.

If you enjoy novels set in Ancient Egypt, you may like my ancient Egyptian historical romance, 'Blue Gold' give 4.5 Books by LASR. Excerpts, reviews and buy links here:

Best wishes, Lindsay Townsend

(Pictures of a scribe and his wife and of an Egyptian blue lily from Wikimedia Commons. For more Egyptian love poems try here at the Ancient History Sourcebook.)


Maria Zannini said...

Love ancient history romances! I will definitely look this up.

Jason said...

I love that poem and also ancient history. I will check out Blue Gold.

doxymom said...

I'll look it up too.

I've never written a love poem, only unrequited-love poems.

doxisrcool at

Faith said...

And many times such poems were considered risqué too. I saw a program on Discovery not long ago about such poetry that has been uncovered in Egypt. It was very, very interesting!

desitheblonde said...

the poem and the book history

Jean P said...

Must check out this book, enjoy books that have this storyline.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Linda Banche said...

Poetry usually doesn't do too much for me. But the images from this Eqyptian poetry are beautiful.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thank you, everyone. I love the freshness of Egyptian poetry and am always amazed, knowing it's so old.

I hope you also enjoy my 'Blue Gold'.