Egyptian Harper

This Egyptian harper has been playing and singing since 1350 BCE!
Limestone statuette seen at Chicago's Oriental Museum.
I visited the Oriental Museum August, 2010


Original photo...
And what would he have been singing about? Foster and Foster reveal:

"Another kind of poem from the lyric genre is the Harper's Song. There are only a few of these, and they form a strange interlude in the literature; for they seem to question the sacred Egyptian principle of eternal life, urging the hearer to carpe diem, 'seize the day':

"Grieve not your heart, whatever comes,
     let sweet music play before you;
Recall not the evil, loathsome to God,
     but have joy, joy, joy, and pleasure!

"The harper's song from Inherkhawy's tomb says just this:

"All who come into being as flesh,
     pass on...
Let your heart be drunk on the gift of Day
     until that day comes when you anchor."

"Ancient Egyptian Literature", John L. Foster and Ann L. Foster, in Egyptology Today, edited by Richard H. Wilkinson, (Cambridge University Press, 2008), pages 215-216)

Seize the day! That is really the best advice.

Pdf of sketchbook as scanned

© Joan Ann Lansberry, November, 2011 (Expanded September 2012)

   


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