Jennah Nahhas (’24): Alexandria Quarantined

Each slot of thought reeks of rot,
My brain of bounded books.
They cordoned off my turquoise veins
But down my brow still looks

On students hiding from the rain,
On squirrels traversing concrete plains.

And as a hen her heavy wings
Protects her smallest young,
So too I my concrete shade
Provide to children flung

Outside my lettered marrow,
Beyond my buzzing thoughts.

Oh how I ache! my tired mid-century teeth
Of burrowed mazes, moulded homes,
For something else has taken hold
Within my bones of tomes.

— Jennah Nahhas

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Jennah Nahhas’ piece demonstrates how impactful libraries are to their patrons. Jenna Nahhas is a Creative Writing and Medieval Studies double major interested in Arabic literary traditions, the book of Job, and brewing the perfect cup of Scottish breakfast tea. This is a piece that she wrote that was inspired by our very own Beeghly Library. Below is an inside look at her inspiration for this poem. 

I have been prone to overdramatic and improvised odes to Beeghly Library whenever I pass by the old building this semester, so a friend challenged me to finally just write a poem about the beloved building. In line with this light-hearted yearning, I decided to personify Beeghly so it could speak to us itself on the slow-burning fire of devouring mold that separates us.”

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