#11 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.
Writing X’s for kisses dates back to the Middle Ages, when much of the population was illiterate. A person made an “X” for his name, then kissed it, as a promise to stick to the agreement. Over time, the X came to stand for the kiss itself. (photo by Samdogs)
If X marks the spot, you’ve come to the right place!
I thought we’d give X a little love and attention today. As one of the least used letters in the alphabet (second only to Z), I imagine it must get pretty lonely at times.
A, E, I, O, U get invited to parties left and right. But X? It’s usually the first to be crossed off the A-list. This is what sometimes happens to letters with a sordid past: X-rated movies, Brand X, the symbol for “Poison.” But I’m happy to report X has redeemed itself of late.
Today, almost everybody wants an X-Box, loves the X-Files, and knows X to be a mover and shaker: XFER, XMIT, XREF, X-ing. Besides, who can resist a letter with such magnetism and mystique? The X-factor definitely makes life interesting.
Up until a few days ago, Diane Lockward was Lady X to me. I saw “My Husband Discovers Poetry” in Good Poems for Hard Times, and simply had to read more of her work. When I found “I’m Lonely as the Letter X,” I knew I had truly discovered a kindred spirit.
I’M LONELY AS THE LETTER X
by Diane Lockward
photo by Pixel Packing Mama.
Poor, neglected X, only two and a half pages
in a dictionary nearly three thousand long.
My lover’s gone. I know how it feels
to receive scant attention, to have gifts
ignored. X deserves more.
X is special, a symbol, shouting, Don’t do it!
And kindly too, warning of dangerous crossings,
strange, dark roads traveled alone.
Mysterious, an unknown quantity — who really knows
what X represents? I wish I were as prolific as X,
which goes forth and multiplies: 2x, 5x, 7x.
(Rest is here.)
photo by Abdallah.
I am in the habit of crossing my legs. But I’m not mysterious, just short.
Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is our Poetry Friday hostess today. She’ll probably give you a kiss if you ask her ☺!
BTW, have you checked out Diane’s Blogalicious yet? Fab posts about poetry writing process. A good one to bookmark!
photo by emily2012.
Have an Xtraordinary weekend!
~ jama ♥
Certified authentic alphabetica. Handmade especially for you with lots of love, hugs, and kisses!