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1.2 Discussion: Where I’m From poem and recording Purpose By completing the following assignment, you will introduce yourselves to your peers and your instructor in order to create a learning community. During this course, you will be writing papers that will be read by members of the class. If you know more about your audience, it will be easier to write for that audience. Instructions 1. Read “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon. 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. 2. 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 and 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 all together, you will see that it conveys a deep sense about you. Some details you might consider are: o o o o o o o o o o o o Parents and relatives Food and meals Family games or activities Songs Children’s stories, books, or poetry you still remember Family sayings that were often repeated Great advice you received from older family members Ordinary household items Traditions or family traits Religious experiences or symbols Accidents or traumatic experiences Joys and losses 3. Write your own “Where I’m From” poem Open a Google Doc or other software. Using the list you created, write 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 or structure. Write your poem however you like. Click on this link to see two sample Where I’m From student poems (this is attached as a word document named sample student poems) Here are some student examples that you may find useful: “I’m From the Woods….” by Nick I’m from the woods and the creek behind my fence From the gray wooden backyard deck. I’m from the honeysuckles, The pear trees by the neighbor’s garden From the creek when I swing over it. I’m from the yellow walls of Grandma’s kitchen From the Yorkshire pup, the coolest thing in my family. I’m from macaroni pictures of the Ark From “I just can’t snap my fingers and make it happen” and from David the Gnome in summers long ago. I’m from my mom’s side of the family, From roasting turkeys for each holiday, From when Papaw yelled at his boss and got fired From the family pictures in the big wooden cabinet and From the family gathering when we drag them out. I am from those moments. A root that no one sees, but walks all over An important part of the tree.” Where I’m From…. by Lauren I ‘m from baths in the kitchen sink, From Downy and Mom’s perfume I am from flowers by the fence (yellow and springy they tasted like crayons) I am from the ivy crawling up the house, The baby tree whose sturdy trunk shot from the ground A mirror image of my planted feet. I’m from sprinkles and plastic table donut shops From Bert and Ernie I’m from stupid heads and dot dot I got my cootie shot From don’t touch this and don’t touch that. I’m from Hymn No. 96 and why is this piece of bread so small? And bible crafts made from neon pipe cleaners. I’m from Bill and Darlene’s branch From hot soup and freshly baked corn bread From the Well, when I was little’s and the snowy games Told to me by Green Bay Packer season ticket holders In the storage room are boxes Overflowing with shiny, color-coated memories Bundles of dreams kept alive To ask my mother about. I am from those moments A leaf changing color with the weather Time only strengthens the branch that holds m

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