In Egypt

By
Scott Du
Scott Du is a member of the Class of 2023.

The Roman Egyptian plaster masks currently on view at the museum date to between the first and third centuries CE, and were originally part of coffins that held the mummies of the deceased. These objects are from the Eton College Myers Collection in Windsor, England, and are currently on loan to the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum.

Poet’s Statement

I wrote “In Egypt” inspired by the “Roman Mummy Masks” exhibit by Betsy Bryan. I tried to write about how with traditional Egyptian burial practices still in place despite the Roman conquerors, the memory of the dead would be remembered forever through their masks. Specifically, the depiction of theirĀ face on the mask was most likely how they looked at their prime, and I wanted to emphasize that when they die they will be remembered like they are depicted on their mask.

In Egypt

Perishing in Egypt is a wonder

While now when you die

You are lost in time

Cremated ashes placed in coffin

 

Perishing in Egypt means forever

Fitted with a mask of honor

You will never be forgotten

A face always present

 

Eyes inlaid with glass

Wood painted with wax

Hair set properly and

Jewelry donned on your neck

 

Your mask becomes you

A replica of your face

As healthy and strong as

When you lived at your prime

 

Fitted with your crown now

Your visage is ideal

A moment in time

Captured with a plaster mask