Ancient Egypt: poems from 1570—1085 B.C.


The Immortality of Writers (an excerpt)

Man Decays, his corpse is dust,
All his kin have perished;
But a book makes home remembered,
Through the mouth of its reciter.
Better is a book than a well built house.
Than tomb-chapels in the West;
Better than a solid mansion,
Than a stela in the temple!

Is there one here like Herdedef?
Is there another like Ptahhotep?
Death made their names forgotten
But books made them remembered!



So small are the flowers of Seamu

So small are the flowers of Seamu
Whoever looks at them feels a giant.

I am first among your loves,
Like a freshly sprinkled garden of grass and perfumed flowers.

Pleasant is the channel you have dug
In the freshness of the north wind.

Tranquil our paths
When your hand rests on mine in Joy.

Your voice gives life, like nectar.

To see you, is more than food or drink.




1. Immortality mentions that books help in keeping memories, reminders and history.

2. Books are compared to Immortality because their writers will pass away, but they will remain.

3. The setting of “So small are the flowers of Seamu” is a garden.

4. The last two lines of the poem read “Your voice gives life, like nectar/ To see you, is more than food or drink.” These lines mean that the writer of this poem has high regard for the beloved so much that the beloved is compared with a life giving substance, like nectar and food.

5. The speaker mentions specific famous Egyptian kings who’s prowess wouldn’t have been remembered if not for books.

6. History Books, Biographies, Autobiographies… Examples are Long Walk to Freedom, Malcolm X, etc.

7. The images are “a well built house,” “tomb-chapels,” “solid mansion,” “stela in the temple.” The qualities they have in common is that one is able to see these architectural structures vividly in the mind.

8. There is so much garden imagery in love poems because of the beauty there is in gardens. Flowers, butterflies, bees, and every other thing found in the garden carry so much beauty.

9. I want to be remembered for being a Philanthropist.

10. Younglan lived most of his life loving cats and drinking coffee while sitting on a hill and watching the sunset in Tudun Wada…
He sought God, with the whole of his heart, and hoped that like Moses did, he’ll be able to talk to God like a friend does with a friend over coffee.

Younglan Talyoung

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