Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Where I'm From Poetry Project

Wow... I just found this wonderful post on an old page of a blog from Rose Cottage by the Sea.

It is really a beautiful blog with many ideas, dreams, and sweet stories. Plus the sweetest, saddest little music plays while you view it. I saw that poem, thought of a project for upcoming school, of course, but decided to start by doing it myself. I loved the results of my own, so I called my mother and filled out a little questionnaire over the phone. I loved hers and had to smile at the way our answers were so similar. She raised me a good deal as she was raised herself. Now, for the kicker. I plan to ask my son. There, I fear, the continuity will not carry through because I know some things were sadly different. We shall see. Well, I did the "mad libs" type of questions for my son, and it was kind of cute, a little bit whimsical, and just a teensy bit cynical. We've been through quite a bit in his lifetime, so I was glad to see some fun and good memories coming out of his heart and mind. (Whew! in other words!......)

I plan to ask some friends, my dad, and maybe keep a little scrapbook of these poems. I can't wait for the decision I'll make on which students to "grace" with this idea. I'd love to see any you make for yourselves if you want to try it and email me the results.

Template for asking the right questions: Here. I added a bit and just tinkered with it until I was happy with what I answered and the way it read on the page.

I am from line-dried cotton sheets, from Double Cola and Nutmeg Windmill cookies.
I am from the Midwestern farm home, scrubbed, loved, and filled with the smell of roast beef and Gramma’s yeast rolls.

I am from the tomato vine, zinnia, and rabbit‘s nest.
The green-tasseled corn, hollyhock, and maple tree hollow.
I am from stockings hung by the fire, cooking for comfort, from Norma and Gerald, Gramma and Paw-paw, Grandad and Ma.

I am from the urge to decorate and the desire for security.
From “Get to bed before the midnight train comes.” and “Pretty is as pretty does.”

I am from a one room church with pink and blue stained glass windows, macaroni art projects, and
Kool-aid blessed, Bible School afternoons.

I am a collector of china, memories, and moonbeams.
I'm from Missouri and Indiana sod,
snicker doodle cookies,
and angel food cake laced with strawberries.

I am from the day when Mom told her mother she had to have a red, dotted dress with ruffles, the times my dad drove a tractor through knee-deep mud to carry mail, and the long ago nights when my gramma lay shivering in an Indiana bed
listening to the panther’s scream.

I am from photographs stored in deep cedar drawers
filled with albums, clippings, and lace.

I am from cedar chests laden with old coins, graduation tassels and layered with hand sewn quilts.
My Son
I am from little red boots, from Transformers
and from Nintendo.

I am from the house with blue carpet, my room strewn with toys,
extremely comfy and happy.

I am from the grass to be mown, the hyacinth in the spring, and the praying mantis; from the pine trees with paper cones, the red geraniums, and Koga, my big, black cat.

I am from arguments on holidays,
and always going to
Granny and Paw-paw’s and staying all night on Christmas Eve.
I am from eating too much and being “big-boned."
from Mom and Dad, Granny and Paw-paw.

I am from the habit of never hearing my Paw-paw say, “I don’t know,”
and from Dad flipping out with no warning.

From “Children are meant to be seen and not heard” from Dad,
and “If you fidget, people will think you
have a problem“ from Granny.

I am from listening to KLTE religious radio
and worrying about Granny and Paw-paw, who never talked about it.

I'm from the same farm for three generations,
a few notches back on the same “chunk of rock,"
from Midwestern roots and German tradition.

I am from Broccoli Salad,
Cottage Cheese Ranch Dip, and Taco Salad.

From the story of “Goog Reilly, the Indiana State Police Trooper,“
told by a cousin Ned,
and the one about Paw-paw getting a whipping for getting the tractor stuck,
even though his father knew he would.

I am from photos and scrapbooks probably strewn about the house, hidden in the attic, and on the list to find tomorrow.

I am the chubby little boy who felt oblivious most of the time, but happy nevertheless.


Suzanne said...

Hi Gayla~ Thank you for visiting my blog and for your sweet comment.
This is a beautiful post. The poems from you and your family were very touching and I could relate to many of the lines.

Thanks again!

Becky said...

You can tell that you poured your heart into each story! Like Suzanne said, I can relate to what was written. I'll have to give this a try. Thank you for sharing these wonderful poems! Blessings, Becky