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write your own quot where i m from quot poem

Directions

Read the following poem:

Where I’m From by George Ella Lyon (1993)

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch elm
whose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.
I am from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know- it-alls
and the pass- it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down.
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.
I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures.
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments —
snapped before I budded —
leaf- fall from the family tree.

  1. Brainstorm
    • List specific details related to your life. The key is to make this exercise as specific and personal as possible. Use nicknames or words that only you or your family use. Use items, things places that are specific to your life, memories, and experiences. Don’t worry about readers not knowing what you’re talking about. This is own your personal poem. When you put it alltogther, you will see that it conveys a deep sense about you.
    • Some details you might consider are:
      • Parent’s names and significant relatives
      • Special foods or meals
      • Family specific games or activities
      • Nostalgic songs
      • Stories, novels or poetry that you’ll never forget
      • Phrases that were repeated often
      • The best things that you were told
      • The worst things that you have been told
      • Ordinary household items
      • Family traditions
      • Family traits
      • Family tendencies
      • Religious symbols or experiences
      • Specific story(ies) about a specific family member
      • Accidents or traumatic experiences
      • Losses
      • Joys
      • Location of memories, pictures, or mementos
  2. Write your own “Where I’m From” poem
    • Using the list you created, begin writing your own “Where I’m From” poem. Don’t worry about naming a specific place – follow the poem’s spirit of giving a sense of place through personal details. Use as many of the items on your list as you like. Don’t worry about form – structure. Write your poem however you like
    • Click on this link to see two sample Where I’m From student poems (Links to an external site.)

 

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