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Where Are You From?

George Ella Lyons is an Appalachian author with a long list of children's books to her credit. Her poem, Where I'm From, begins in this way:

I am from clothespins, from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride. I am from the dirt under the black porch. (Black, glistening it tasted like beets.)
Each of us is from a place that is more than a dot on the map. Every experience that we can recall has left its mark on who we are. Nobody is from Clorox, but can't you smell the laundry room at the author's house as a little girl?

I'd like to make a suggestion-- not just to the 'writers' who read this, but to everyone. Actually, putting on my teacher hat: this is your assignment --

Read Where I From, all of the poem is here.

Then, write your own version-- where you're from. Here's the format, the remainder of the form is in the "continue reading" section if you want to try this worthwhile exercise. Cut and paste it into a word processor to work on later.

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

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


You might be surprised what you find as you rummage around in old trunks-- your personality, your family history and traits, and the places you've called home --in order to complete the poem with your own marks.

I think it would be a joy to read this personalized poem for each in a group of bloggers who "sort of" know each other. This could extend the depth of bond between us. The same thing applies within a family. Consider you and your spouse both doing one, from your own unique perspective. If you don't want to post it or send a link to it to Fragments, maybe this would make a cherished gift to your children. I'm willing to bet they will learn something about 'where you're from' that they did not know.

I will post "Where I'm From" (the Fred version) here tomorrow. Maybe as the week rolls along, you'll post links to yours that you've posted at your websites. If you don't have a website, I'll post yours on Fragments if you'd like.

This may be a silly idea, but that hasn't stopped me before, why raise my standards now!?

WHERE I'M FROM

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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Comments

I am planning to work this into a poetry assignment in my 8th grade class. It'll take us a week to get the pieces written, I think, but we will link our efforts to you when they're done. We already have a site at blogspot and I'll post the assignment there with a link here. 'Twould be cool if some of the bloggers here wanted to email the class with their thoughts. It'll take a week. This will be cool fun!

Hey Fred

I've finished my assignment. I've posted it on my Blog HERE

Interesting Fred. I did try, but adoption doesn't lend itself well to some parts of this.
I can do the nature bits though. Blog on!

Not sure I quite have the drift, but mine's my blog, tribute to you and your efforts, Fredster!

Interesting assignment, got mine posted today.

What a wonderful idea, and exercise!

I have just posted MY poem on my blog, as part of my own exercises in creative writing, and have encouraged my readers to read your post and give this a try as well. :-)

Better late than never, you have been blogrolled, as well. :-)

Oops! Forgot to leave the exact link in my comment. :-)

Just click on my name, in THIS post, to read MY entry. :-)

Hi Fred! I found your blog a couple of weeks ago through Clarence's blog.

I did the assignment (yay!) and it's up at my livejournal. Thanks for setting it, Fred!

Thanks for this. It was great fun. Come see what I've done. http://northcoastcafe.typepad.com

I've posted mine on my blog. Here's the direct link to the post: http://serenitydawn.blogspot.com/2003_11_09_serenitydawn_archive.html#106880599633775530

Oops, let me attempt that again here

This is wonderful Fred! I've written my own Where I'm From and posted it at my blog.

This was a great inspiration and a fabulous way to end the year. Thank you.

love this! Inspired my own leangthy one.

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