Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Bard Anonymous's Egyptian Poem

The bard Anonymous is a bard who cannot be silenced by the Copyright Police. His uncensored, and in the following instance illuminating words will continue to be heard or be seen wherever poetry has not died.
The poem which follows, on the theme of death, was a favourite of the writer Aldous Huxley. In 1932 the poem appeared in Huxley's anthology Texts and Pretexts. Huxley's books were always controversial and subject to censorship and contention. His novel Antic Hay was burned in Cairo.

Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963) died at his home in Hollywood on the day President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated.

Egyptian Poem

Death is before me to-day,
Like the recovery of a sick man,
Like going forth into a garden after sickness;

Death is before me today,
Like the odour of myrrh,
Like sitting under the sail on a windy day;

Death is before me to-day,
Like the odour of lotus flowers,
Like sitting on the shore of drunkenness;

Death is before me to-day,
Like the course of the freshet,
Like the return of a man from the war-galley to his house,
When he has spent years in captivity.



  1. Why is it that the best poems are almost always the simplest (that is until you really start thinking about them, when they take on so much meaning.)
    I used to be a great Aldous Huxley fan in my younger days - haven't read any for years though.

  2. Just discovered your site. Thank you for being a poet and caring about poetry. I'll be back.

  3. Thank you Anonymous. You're most welcome.

  4. Yes Weaver, their strength is in their brevity. Holub is a good example. I haven't read all Huxley, just 3 or 4 books, but now I'm eager to look in Antic Hay.

  5. Hello Joana, Interesting concept, a high tower in a Pacific Rim Earthquake Zone. It won't last as long as the pyramids. You can put your last $ on that.

  6. hi anon, thanks for the links to ancient Egypt.

  7. can someone please explain to me what the ancient poem is saying ??

  8. When we die we return to our house. The other things lead up to this great moment.


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