— Anuradha Rampersaud
I choose a poem from the ancient Egyptian love poem. I think this poem is truly a classic piece. I give props to the writer to have put it together. What drew me towards this poem is my instant and personal connection towards it. This poem reminds me a lot about my culture back in the days as a young teenager stepping in the world of adulthood, and falling in love during those times. Growing up in the Indian culture was a little out of the ordinary as compared to teenagers growing up in America, and mostly from other cultures. Girls from our heritage were not allowed to be seen in public with any kind of male descent who was not related to you, and as we aged towards adulthood, marriage proposals were already being sought by your parents so that you can be married into a home they thought was best for you. Moreover, this was done to show the public who intruded in your business, that my daughter is a decent girl who married into a family we chose for her. It also portrayed the kind of message that you were not romantically involved with anyone. I remembered my young teenage and adulthood days vividly. Falling in love at an early age with a guy who you couldn’t ‘show off’ in public, because I was a girl and I basically carried the family’s morals and values on my shoulders. How dare me, if I tainted it in any way! Back in my younger years (2010-2013) being able to see a guy from a distance, just once, meant everything, even if you couldn’t physically touch him or talk to with him among his families. I would always hope for my parents to approach and start a conversation so I would have an excuse to hug him, greet him with a kiss on the cheeks and reminisce about it couple hours later. In lines 11-20 of this poem, it was the most striking to me because I felt that connection in my younger years courting a guy. The way the poet described it made me instantaneously felt like I was the girl in this poem. I personally find it striking because, yes, it does make an ancient culture and synchronizes perfectly with my culture.
I do consider this poem to be a “great work.” The fact that this poem existed during c.1300-1100 B.C.E and carries this romantic feeling that resonates with you is beautiful. It speaks to your mind and heart and it just has that valuable capacity to soothe the mind. I truly enjoyed this piece and I read it three times without flinching. I love that it was able to take me back to memory lane, when I was once 18 years old and young in love with a guy I couldn’t enjoy in public, but was satisfy anyways because I was able to stare at him from a distance, falling in love again.
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