Thursday, August 23, 2018

Where I'm From

I like being near the top of a mountain. One can't get lost here.
~Wislawa Szymborska

photo by Jeremy Hunsinger

I wrote a "Where I'm From" poem after reading about George Ella Lyon and Julie Landsman's Where I'm From project on Heidi's blog. I feel like I could write others, although I don't know whether (when?) I will.

Where I'm From
by Tabatha Yeatts

I'm from roads like a rollercoaster
leading to a valley town,
from clogs and fiddles,
porch swings and crawdaddies,
a little grits with my butter,
and fresh donuts around the corner
from the bookstore.

I'm from barefoot and bees,
and playing outside until someone's hurt --
probably me --
from the smell of cows in the distance,
and from leaving the football game
as soon as I can
but staying until the
basketball game is over.

I'm from riding the lawnmower
with my granddaddy,
playing cards with granny,
from homemade popsicles
for myself and the neighbors,
from art supplies and the
bliss of blank paper,
a joy that fills me still.


Vintage photos of me
I love this Where I'm From poem by Rebecca Bailey.
Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Margaret!


Robyn Hood Black said...

I adore "Where I'm From" poems (thank you, George Ella for the plethora you've inspired!) - and this one of yours, Tabatha, is just overflowing with delight. -- "the bliss of blank paper...." love. And those pictures of Little Tabatha are adorable! Thanks for sharing.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Love this, T! I've always wanted to write a where I'm from poem, but I've never been able to write one to my satisfaction. Maybe my expectations are too high... or maybe I just have to keep trying.

Michelle Kogan said...

Hi Tabatha, Thanks for sharing a bit of you in your "Where I'm From" poem, I felt refreshed from reading it. I especially like the "crawdaddies," "I'm from barefoot and bees," and "bliss of blank paper," The pics are fun, many stories there …

Karen Edmisten said...

I LOVE "I Am From" poems, and you inspired me to share one that I wrote years ago. Thanks for that! I love these glimpses into your childhood, and the pictures of you are priceless! :)

Linda Mitchell said...

This is delightful to read. Wouldn't it be cool to have a collection of these from a family? I love how your Grandaddy and Granny are there....those homemade popsicles and the joy of craft supplies. I hope you do write more. I want to write one now!

Carol Varsalona said...

Tabatha, I think Linda M's idea of having a collection of these poems from the family would be a wonderful family project. Your poem is so rich in visual images and the thought "bliss of blank paper" brings me back to childhood. Thanks for sharing.

Ben said...

I really like this poem.

Linda B said...

Love seeing 'little you', Tabatha, and reading of the parts of your life that you shared, like 'cards with granny' and the mystery of your leaving football games early, but staying all through basketball, and me the reader wondering why. "Where I'm From" poems are so delightful in their telling and giving a taste of a person. I love yours!

Irene Latham said...

"a little grits with my butter" - ha! I love learning more about you, Tabatha... love the image of you and grandfather on lawnmower... so very lovely. And I am sharing that mountain quote with my husband... we live on a mountain and are always looking for others to express how we feel about it, as we just can't seem to do it justice. This quote does! Thank you. xo

Tabatha said...

It's not too mysterious, Linda...I got bored at football games! I lived in a college town where football games were a big deal, but sitting through a whole one was too much for wee me.

Margaret Simon said...

I feel like I know you better from this delightful I am From poem. May I use it as a model with students?

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

That is sweet. I'm from blank paper, too. XOXO

Tabatha said...

You're welcome to use it as a model, Margaret. I'd be honored. Good luck with your workshops!

Catherine Flynn said...

This is such a rich and evocative poem, Tabatha! I am swooning over "art supplies and the/bliss of blank paper." They still fill me with joy, too!

Mary Lee said...

We are going to be writing "Where I'm From" poems next week!

I love this peek into the you back then who became the you you are now. That photo of you with the box of crayons proves your final point!

Kay said...

I loved teaching and sharing "Where I'm From" poems with my students each year. I learned about them and we began to create a community in our classroom. So many of the details you included resonated with me. Thank you for writing and sharing. Now I should go dig up my own Where I'm From poem to share--and maybe write a new one.

Whispers from the Ridge said...

I just love your "Where I'm From" poem! I have used this invitation to write many times with teachers and students. It never disappoints!

Ruth said...

I love these - it's always one of my favorite assignments with my seventh graders - and yours is extra evocative!