Nov 09 2008

Where I’m from

I needed something to fill a space in the world poetry unit I’m doing with my sophomores, so I dug through some old TFA resources I have and pulled up an idea based on the George Ella Lyons poem, “Where I’m From.” You can see the basic gist of the lesson plan here: 

The original poem is a wonderful example of evocative language and description, and the format is very easy to follow and adapt. We’ll see how the kids do with the assignment to create their own version of the poem (they usually love writing about themselves but producing a good poem will require a degree of introspection that may escape some of them.) In the meanwhile, I thought I’d post my own offering (which I wrote to use as a sample in class). I don’t pretend to be an excellent poet, by any means, but it was a fun exercise.

Where I’m From

by Ms. W

I am from books, from Ramen noodles and duraflame logs.

I am from the stucco, the sand and the tile.

I am from the bougainvillea, the eucalyptus towering over my childhood and in my sinuses.


I am from Christmas cookies and the mom dance,

from Virginia and Marjorie, from Appaulina too.

I’m from the readers and the trip-planners

From turn on a light and you can’t just sit around.

I am from the wispy paper of hymn books

and carols droning and echoing in the sanctuary.


I am from the Baltic, the hog butcher, the sunshine

Lithuanian stew and baked potato buffet

From farm animals in the baby carriage and

epic hiking trips through the wild.


I am from albums and shoe boxes marked “to be scanned”

and from the dusty box in the back of my closet

that is still half-way filled.


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