Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where Are You From?

If you don't know where you're from, you'll have a hard time saying where you're going. Wendell Berry, among others, has voiced this idea that we need to understand our roots to know our place in the world. There is a poem by George Ella Lyons called "Where I"m From". Below is a copy of this poem I took from the internet: Where I'm From

by George Ella Lyons

I am from clothespins, from Clorox

and carbon-tetrachloride.

I am from the dirt under the black 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'm 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 a 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.

Here is a template so that you can make this poem your own if you would like. Just copy and paste the template into e-mail or word perfect or whatever program you want to use and get to work creating something about yourself that you can use in the "About Me" section of blogger or keep or just post on your blog as a poem about you! You can read my "poem about me" on my blog in the right column.
The 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).

Have fun and good luck composing your poem. You don't have to follow the guidelines exactly, just use it as something to go by for your own creation. If you have fun with this and post it on your blog, leave me a comment and let me know, so that I can read it. Thanks.

5 comments: TN said...

Judy, go look on my blog to see where I'm from. Clara

bluemountainmama said...

i like your "WIF" poem in the sidebar. i always think of tobacco fields when i think of KY. i was raised on a farm in the western part of the state. nice to "meet" you! :)

Rachel said...

I found you by way of Clara's blog. I'm a KY gal myself!

Very interesting to read your
"Where Are You From." I may have to try this sometime on my blog!

Rachel said...

Judy, I live in Somerset! I have a brother and nephew in Frankfort, and their families of course!

Ladyfromthewoods said...

I finally made myself one too. Thanks for the template! Check it out.