Poetry Friday is hosted by Violet Nesdoly
Poetry is one of the elements of our year end multi genre writing project, and (luckily) George Ella Lyons’ “Where I’m From” is one of the poetic forms in our poetry toolbox. On Monday, we shared Lyons’ poem and my kids and I wrote together. They were amazing – so many fearless poems about naming and honoring where we’re from. Here’s the one I composed as a free write for my kids – just to get their writing going….
Where I’m From
I am from drenching monsoons
and dusty droughts,
I am from the land of my birth,
from Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras…
of teeming streets and sylvan compounds
the two halves of my soul.
I am from Cape Comorin and the Arabian Sea
from tri colored sand and ancient stones.
I am from discovering the new
amid the ruins of the old
sea shells and temple fragments
the Red Fort and Elephanta caves
the past, present and future always
coming into view, and then disappearing.
I am from Jane Eyre and David Copperfield,
Shakespeare and Tagore.
Verses, phrases and words
memorized and whispered.
I am from many languages
some understood and others parsed.
I am from “say it with actions”,
and “never give up, or give in”.
I am from the sound of the sitar
traveling through the many rooms of my
I am from his glorious gladioli
his fragrant mango orchards
and jasmine trees.
I am from exuberant scents and textures
of long ago memories.
I am from belonging
and not belonging –
knitting together an identity
from fragments, memories and longings.
I am from a family of wanderers
adrift and forever free.