Write your own “Where I’m From” poem


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Assignment 5: Getting Acquainted
Due by 11:59 pm on Sunday of week 1.

By completing the following assignment, you will introduce yourselves to your peers and to me so that we can all get to know each other.


1. Read the following poem:

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

In the above poem, you will notice that all the phrases and images the poet has used are personal and relate to the poet’s life.
To write your own ‘where I’m from poem’ poem, 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, things 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:

Parent’s names and significant relatives

Special foods or meals

Family specific games or activities

Nostalgic songs

Stories, novels or poetry that you’ll never forget

Phrases that were repeated often

The best things that you were told

The worst things that you have been told

Ordinary household items

Family traditions

Family traits

Family tendencies

Religious symbols or experiences

Specific story(ies) about a specific family member

Accidents or traumatic experiences



Location of memories, pictures, or mementos

3. Write your own “Where I’m From” poem

Using the list you created, begin writing 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 – structure. Write your poem however you like
Click on this link to see two sample Where I’m From student poems

4. Post your poem in the Full Class Forum titled Getting Acquainted.

You can either type directly in the Forum or you can cut and paste from a Word Processing document. You can also attach your submission as an rtf (Rich Text Format) document file

(Optional) Attach a picture of yourself or a picture of something that reflects your poem.
NOTE: If you need help attaching a file, view Submit Using Assignment Feature in Blackboard. Be sure to click the Submit button or I won’t receive your file.
Read your peers’ postings and respond to at least three of your peers. In your responses, you must comment on what struck you the most about their poem and why.
Tip: This is your first assignment using the Full Class Forums. Some students find it helpful to log into the course in two different web browser windows at the same time. This allows you to refer back to the assignment directions in one window as you type your message into the forum in the other window.


This assignment will allow you to get acquainted with other people in the class. 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. Also, you will learn to use the forums and make postin

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