Ruth Whitman

(1922–1999 / New York City / United States)

Hatshepsut - Poem by Ruth Whitman

When I was six
my father Thutmose the First
lifted me up to sit beside him
on his throne of Amen.
He said, Flower of Egypt,
you will be a ruler.
He took me with him on his royal barge
down the Nile to Memphis, to Sakkara,
to Giza, to see my kingdom.
He said to the farmers and nobles
crowding the water steps
This is my goddess daughter Hatshepsut
who will be crowned with the crown
of Upper and Lower Egypt
when she becomes a woman.
I knew that Amen-Re, Lord of Thebes,
King of Karnak, took my father's form
and came down to my mother, Ahmose,
as she slept in the beauty of her palace.
She woke at the fragrance of the god
and rejoiced at the sight of his beauty,
and he went into her and his love
came into her body. And my mother said
How wonderful to see you face to face,
your dew is in all my limbs.
And Amen, Lord of the Two Lands, said to her,
Khnumit-Amon-Hatshepsut is the name of the daughter
I have planted in your body. She shall be king
in this whole land. My soul is hers,
my crown is hers.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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