Museum Tales 2: The Shabti’s Lament

Creative Future run creative writing courses at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery for marginalised writers. Dr Claudia Gould, the group facilitator, encourages participants to use Museum objects to inspire their work. Funded by the Arts Council England, these  groups will be running again in June 2014 and spring 2015. If you’re interested in attending please contact Creative Future (01273 234780) for further information.

Creative Future run the creative writing workshops in partnership with Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

The Shabti’s Lament by Vicky Darling

It’s not much of a life as a Shabti
with a mummy so wrapped up and quiet.
As employer she’s not satisfactory,
and down here it’s never a riot
of singin’ or dancin’ or chattin’
and she won`t use my skills as a cook.
There’s not room for swingin’ a cat in
and there’s no light for reading my book.
The Afterlife tends to be boring.
It is not what it’s cracked up to be.
My mummy just lies about snoring,
I wish she would find work for me.
Then there’s coping with Sekhemet’s rages,
(she is one of the goddesses here)
she sometimes goes off and rampages,
and fills the poor mummies with fear.
I am trying my best to keep cheerful,
and take every day as it comes,
but sometimes I get very tearful.
It`s not mummies we want but our mums.


2 Responses

  1. michael olden

    That’s a great project and I love the Shabti’s Lament, lovely to see the museums collections used to generate new works. I wouldn’t be a museum Learning Officer though if I didn’t point out those are not Shabti figures but canopic jars – used, I think, to store the mummies vital organs into the after life. There are a few Shabti figures in the bottom photo, tucked away on the right hand side of the photo.
    Looking forward to seeing what new writing is generated in the Spring 2015 workshops!

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