Posted by: iMalqata Blog | February 7, 2018

Malqata’s Own Poet Laureate

Diana Craig Patch

Jan Picton from University College London has joined us this season as part of the team working at the King’s Palace on the reconstruction of the rooms at the south end of the building. Shortly after getting out to the site last Saturday and looking at the impressive number of reconstructed walls nicely demarcating the various suites and the ones that needed work, she asked me if the King’s Palace brought to mind the famous Robert Frost poem “Mending Wall.”   Although I knew the poem, I had not read it in years and after work, Jan shared a copy of his poem (“Mending Wall”). The images Frost created in this poem, although of course completely different in nature, are reflected throughout the palace.

Workman laying brick w wall kings bedroomjpg

Workmen mending a wall in the King’s Palace.

Even better, she shared her homage to Frost’s poem and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Mending Malqata’s Walls (with respect to Robert Frost)

By Jan Picton

Something there is that does not love the king’s walls,

That sends the ground-swell under it,

and spills the upper mudbricks in the sun;

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of mud hunters is another thing:

we have come after them and made repair

where they have left not one brick on a brick.

The gaps I mean, no one has seen them made

or heard them made, but at season’s start we find them…

Greater blame to archaeologists who, in sharing history

and not backfilling and preserving, destroyed it.

So here we are to clean and record, to draw and make good again.

To relearn and share what we learn, to educate, and make a plea

to cherish this pharaonic heritage and leave a safer legacy.

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Responses

  1. Great to see work progressing at this unique yet vulnerable site – and I’m very happy to see our own Jan Picton moved to poetry after joining the team!
    With best wishes,
    Birgit
    Friends of the Petrie Museum, London


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