XXXIX

quiddity, noun, [kwid-i-tee]

  1. the inherent nature or essence of someone or something.
  2. a distinctive feature; a peculiarity.

Yikes, I’ve been slacking.

It’s National Poetry Month—I’d originally planned to write daily posts, but in the interest of making sure I actually survive this frenzied month before finals, I’m going to stick to the goal of writing at least five poetry-related posts for this month. If you know me, if you’ve followed my gap year, then you know how I love poetry—dearly, unabashedly.

So I thought we’d start this month with something less traditional: new poetic forms! Among which there’s the wonderful “Arabic” form by Marwa Helal. Her poem is meant to be read right to left instead of left to right, encouraging the reader to consider the drawbacks of restraining oneself to a single language. It’s a beautifully executed work and a reminder that, paradoxically, poetry is not limited to linguistic and textual traditions.

And, in the spirit of New York City’s first hot, sweat-licked pseudo-summer day of the year, here’s a quiet, electric Frank O’Hara poem, a poem that feels like drinking soda pop & fizzy water under the stars, bubbles zipping across your tongue as you fall into the grass and listen to the washing of the blades as someone touches your hand gently, heart thumping like the wild, late-night jazz rhythm you’ve always loved.