Deir El-Medina Poems

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The ancient Egyptian secular poetry from Deir el-Medina, a village for tomb builders, falls into two categories: poems which are songs and poems which are personal observations about the world. These poems offer readers a glimpse into ancient Egyptian life and reveal what love meant to their society. Overall, the poems share many similarities in how they portray family values, the symbolic importance of the heart, and religion. These similarities reveal a lot about ancient Egyptian culture.
The poems from Deir el-Medina expose the fundamentals of an ancient Egyptian family. It is known that Deir el-Medina was a village for tomb-builders. Men, who were the primary workers in ancient Egypt, spent most of their time building the tombs.
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The poems from Deir el-Medina embraced the fact that the heart was so important. The writers of the poems, especially women, repeatedly mentioned the heart. For example, the heart represents love in the poem My Heart Flutters Hastily: “My heart flutters hastily, when I think of my love of you.” This affirms the fact that ancient Egyptians associated love with the heart. The same holds true in today’s context. Most people associate the heart with love and emotion, but to the Egyptians, the heart represented more than love. In fact, the heart was so important in ancient Egypt that they preserved it for the afterlife, disposing the brain. This is evident in the poem My Heart Flutters Hastily because the heart is controlling the actions of the author: “It lets me not act sensibly...it lets me not put on a dress.” Therefore, when the ancient Egyptians connected love with the heart, it was very significant. If the heart was connected to love, it meant that love was controlling them. The poem My Brother Torments My Heart confirms that conjecture: “I am possessed by love of him.” That clearly indicates that love controlled the author similar to how the heart was believed to control the body. Although the heart is associated with love in today’s society, the poems reveal that the heart meant much more to the ancient Egyptians. Therefore, the ancient Egyptians showed how important love was …show more content…
Similar to how the sun is symbolic of life today, the sun provided ancient Egyptians with light to grow their plants. Thankful for the sun’s gift of light, the ancient Egyptians regarded the sun with great respect. This is clearly evident in the poems because the authors of the poems praise the sun. For example, the sun is used to express the beauty of a man’s lover in the poem The Sister Without Peer: “The handsomest of all! She looks like the rising morning star.” Through this comparison, it is clear that the Egyptians regarded the sun with much praise. When expressing the beauty of a loved one, only the most beautiful thing in the universe will be fair comparison. Therefore, it can be inferred that the Egyptians regarded the sun as one of the most beautiful thing in the world. Further evidence can be found in the poem I Passed before His House: “O Golden One, put in her heart.” This confirms the fact that the sun is a god. Not only is the sun being referred to as the “Golden One”, but the gods are being asked a favor. The poet is praying to the gods for the mother to accept her love. Another reference to gods made in the poems was the Nile River. Although the Nile isn’t always mentioned by name, it can be inferred that the “river” is indeed the Nile River. As shown in the poem I Wish I Were Her Laundryman, the Nile is

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