I found one such example as I was walking on the beach one bright and sunny day. I espied a bottle with a note a-floating in the bay. I pulled it in and opened it up, and much to my surprise, I discovered this little poem right before my eyes:

Said of Queen Nefertiti, Great in Favor,
Endowed With Gladness, Lady of Grace

Is a sweetie.

The poem is brief, almost terse. And yet it raises questions, such as: Which lines are the title and which are the poem? And further: Were beer bottles used in the 18th Dynasty? Did Akhenaten jettison the poet and his opus at sea, in a fit of jealousy? If so, the content would seem to be of ominous portent to any author who is not Akhenaten. If I recite the poem aloud, will I incur the Mummy’s curse?

Can I suddenly read hieroglyphics? The bottle label can be made out, albeit indistinctly: “Less great, tastes filling...” Something like that. Is the rich rhyme in “eetee” a visually coded form of “eaty”? File it for future research, after lunch.

But internals aside, is the text itself corrupt? Is the reference not to Queen Nefertiti at all but to an unknown “sweetie” (oolp) named Nefer? But would that not be suggestive? Of the possessive case and plurals, I mean. Did ancient Egyptians use the dual number, or were they missing a bet?

Very likely we have here a mash note written by a love-besmitten poet whose work, at the height of his career, fell into the Wrong Hands. His fortune, at least, cut short, he was bodily absented from poetry — and, probably, dry land — at a young age. I thank him for bringing me, from over the years, the priceless gift of an antique bottle.