Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Where I'm From

I'm a sucker for poetry.  I can kill a whole evening watching spoken word poetry videos on youtube.  The past couple of years when Uncle Erudite has come into town for Christmas, the two of us have gone to see the Sunday night poetry slam at The Green Mill, and it has been a wonderful time.

I occasionally write poetry, too.  One time I even performed at a poetry slam out here in the suburbs, and I came in second (out of five).  The guy who won gave me his prize because, in his words: "Your poem was the best of the night.  And I don't drink red wine."

So when a blogger I follow posted a poem by her son, which he wrote as part of a poetry unit in his fourth grade classroom, I cried all over my keyboard.

The idea came from poet George Ella Lyon, who in turn was inspired by a poem written by Jo Carson.  All that to say, the template's down at the bottom of this post, and below is my take on it.  You should write a poem with me!

Where I’m From

I am from patchwork quilts, from Nanking cherries, and freedom to roam.

I am from the grand piano with a cat sleeping on top.
I am from many, many bookshelves.
From novels, memoirs, science fiction, and cook books, all being read in the same room at the same time.
I am from companionable silence
I am from lively debate.

I am from the Mississippi river, the bluffs, the bald eagles, and the turkey vultures.
I am from the Alberta prairie, the endless skies, and the nodding donkeys.

I am from Whole Foods for the Whole Family and an open invitation for anyone to join.
From teacher, from pilot, from homemaker, from doctor, from musician.

I am from the know-it-alls and the win-at-all-costs.
From quit whining and go play outside.

I am from our Father and let your kingdom come.
I am from forgiveness and the whole earth being reconciled.
From the Word, the mystery, and the joy.

I am from "It's an assumed name," from "We only know there was some kind of disgrace."
I am from unflattering history, left behind in the old country.

I am from a cardboard battlefield, made and abandoned,
Endless arguments over practicing and lessons,
Breakfast with the Beatles,
And an imaginary shirt that said "She may not be fast, but she sure is cute."

I am from a homemade aesthetic and years of missing photographs.
I am from a blue book of someone else's memories,
From half finished stories and a dozen tall tales,
From a tree of a hundred branches.
I am from silence, from words, and from music.


Where I’m From (Template):

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

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