“Where I’m From” poem

First of all, HAPPY MONDAY! I hope you all had safe, happy, and fun weekends.

The theme for our fall concert is “Where We’re From.” It is a reflection on our identity as students at Lake Oswego High School, as musicians, as Oregonians, as Americans, and as joyful human beings.

Part of this is a self-examination and expression of our own identity- our own relationships, hopes, and interests. During class today, you will create a draft of your own “Where I’m From” poem. These will be placed outside the auditorium and displayed anonymously before our fall concert on October 17th. You’ll need a piece of notebook paper and a pencil, and an honest and open mindset with a willingness to look inward and reflect upon who you are. The first draft of these poems will be due on Friday, September 22nd (A Day) and Wednesday, September 27th (B Day)

  1. WARM UP QUESTIONS- write on top of your page:
    1. What are some songs that show who you see yourself to be right now? Give the song name and artists. I’m going to make a playlist out of it!
    2. What are the ways that music can be descriptive of our individual identity? How can it define collective identity (ie, as Americans, as an immigrant, as a musician, etc.)
  2. On one side, BRAINSTORM! Be as specific as possible.
    -Items found around your home
    -Items found in your yard/outside
    -Items from your neighborhood
    -Names of friends/family
    -Common phrases/sayings associated with you, “Work hard/play hard,” etc.
    -Food you grew up with
    -Specific names of places
    -Language(s) spoken at home (Spanish, Mandarin, etc.)
  3. Once you are done, review your brainstorm. Turn these items/images/metaphors into a short poem using the following template- follow it as closely or loosely as you desire, but the amount of detail in the template below is expected, regardless of the details you choose to add from your brainstorm list.I am from (specific ordinary item) from (product name) and (another product name)
    I am from the (home description)
    (adjective that describes the home description)
    It (tasted/sounded/looked/felt – choose one)
    I am from the (plant, flower, or natural item)
    (description of natural item)
    I’m from the (family tradition) and (family trait)
    From (name of family member) and (name of family member) and (another name)
    I’m from the (description of family tendency) and (another family tendency)
    From (something you were told as a child) and (another thing you were told as a child)
    I’m from (representation of religious or spiritual beliefs or lack of it), (further description of spiritual beliefs)
    I’m from (place of birth and family ancestry), (two food items that represent your ancestry)
    From the (specific family story with a detail about a specific person)
    The (another detail about another family member)
    I am from (general statement with DETAILS about who you are or where you are from)
  4. Edit and put poem into Google Docs. Share with Mr. Schwalbach (schwalbz@loswego.k12.or.us). Again, first drafts are due on Friday, September 22nd (A Day) or Wednesday, September 27th (B Day). Final drafts will be due on Monday, October 2nd (A Day) or Tuesday, October 3rd (B Day).


I. Where I’m From

I’m from Roy T and Gertrude, Sunny Boy and Mame Kate!
I’m from waking up to fish and grits, sausage and eggs each morning.
In the evening, chicken, greens, smothered pork chops, butter beans, and rice put us to bed.
Born in the city that never sleeps,
Where the music reflects the mood.
A sense of PRIDE in our stride the walk the talk,
The Big Apple, “We Love New York!”
I’m from hard work, no handouts and no shorts,
Real life lessons on life are taught on asphalt courts.
I’m from Ajax and bleach, tight creases and no wrinkles,
You could bounce a quarter off my bed!
I’m from “Get that piece of paper and don’t ever look back.”
And don’t you ever let anyone ever tell you what you can’t do!
I’m from home for the summer, out all night ’til the crack of dawn,
To I don’t care what you did last night, your butt is going to church in the morn…
I’m from the Great Migration and 20 years of service!
I’m from the product of sacrifice and determination…….a better way of life!
And I’m thankful!

II. Where I’m From

I am from sand and sea…that place where water meets land-where dreams are dreamed and hopes are dashed.

I am from buttery grits and Chesapeake blue crabs- A Yankee’s favorite foods from my mother’s southern side.

I am from horses, dogs and deer-a backyard of nature’s wonders where one can just be-just be with God and His creation…to dream good dreams and pray not all hope will be dashed.

I am from faith, forgiveness and freedom.

My life is who I am-where I’ve been, where I am and where I will be.

I am content and grateful.


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