The sentence that links pages 10 and 11 introduces us to the three soldiers and two girls in the form of the pair of pigeons and three crows. With a flapping and cackling sound, they leave the scene, and we are left alone with another little bird. She, like the Egyptian goddess, Isis, who took the form of a bird as she collected fragments of her dead husband Osiris, gathers relics. There are numerous mentions of Osiris throughout the book. I have discovered so much about Egyptology and the Book of the Dead through my research for the artwork. As we move through the chapters the stories derived from Egyptian mythology will unfold.
In keeping with the Egyptian theme, in the painting Sosie Sesthers, below, the two girls and the three soldiers spying on them are based on hieroglyphs. I loved the fact that the symbols for “woman” is a squatting figure—appropriate here, as the two girls are being spied on while they are relieving themselves.
Dig through the relics of the passage to see if you can uncover what relics the peacefugle is collecting in her nabsack: to what domains do these objects belong. What do you think the “With Kiss. Kiss Criss. Cross Criss. Kiss Cross. Undo lives’ end. Slain” refers? And wht do you think of the representation of the bird /ALP as someone who steals “our historic presents from the past postpropheticals”? What does that indicate about the nature of history, as well as about the temporal orientation of the Wake? How do you read the rest of this page in the context of your answers?