Friday, April 23, 2010

Poem #23--Where I'm From Poem (and Poetry Friday)


I'm from the smell of chlorine
and the heat of sun-baked cement by the pool.

I'm from cherry tomatoes eaten warm off the plant
and zinnias, marigolds, and petunias.

I'm from goatheads and hailstones,
blizzards and dust storms.

I'm from "Punkin' " and "Sugar Plum"
and "You are my special angel."

I'm from Lawrence Welk and Glenn Miller,
Ed Sullivan and Johnny Cash.

I'm from Lubbers Lounge Lu Lu
and Thanksgiving ham and broiled spareribs.

I'm from wide horizons
and big skies,
and I'm from a small town
and narrow opportunities.
I've traveled far.
I've kept it all inside my heart.

by Mary Lee Hahn, copyright 2010

The Poetry Friday Roundup today is at Picture Book of the Day with Anastasia Suen.

Here's a reprint of a bunch of the Kidlitosphere (and other assorted) NaPoMo projects that I'm following (or at least trying valiantly to follow):

Gregory K. is once again hosting 30 Poets/30 Days with previously unpublished poems by favorite children's authors.

Tricia Stohr-Hunt is interviewing 30 children's poets, beginning with Mary Ann Hoberman, the US Children's Poet Laureate. The Poetry Makers list is stellar!

Jone MacCulloch shares Thirty Days, Thirty Students, Thirty Poems: original poems by students.

At A Wrung Sponge, Andromeda is writing a "haiga" (photo and haiku) each day. Her photography is simply stunning. The haikus are amazing, too!

Kelly Fineman at Writing and Ruminating will continue the Building a Poetry Collection series she began last year -- selecting a poem a day in a kind of personal Poetry Tag (see Sylvia Vardell's version below) and providing analysis. I call this The University of Kelly Fineman because I learn so much in each post!

Sylvia Vardell is inviting poets to play Poetry Tag. She will invite poets to "play" along by offering a poem for readers to enjoy, then she will "tag" a poet who shares her/his own poem THAT IS CONNECTED to the previous poem in SOME way—by a theme, word, idea, tone-- and offers a sentence or two explaining that connection. What a creative idea!

Laura at Author Amok is highlighting the poets laureate of all 50 states this month...well, all the ones that have a poet laureate... Fun Fun!

Laura Salas is posting a children's poem per day from a poetry book she loves.

Lee Wind is publishing many new Teen voices during April for National Poetry Month. GLBTQ Teen Poetry.

Bud the Teacher gives a picture prompt every day during April and invites readers to post the poem it inspires in the comments of his blog.


Checks these blogs daily for new original poems by the following people:

  • Susan Taylor Brown
  • Jone MacCulloch
  • Elizabeth Moore
  • April Halprin Wayland
  • Liz Scanlon
  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  • If I missed your project, please let me know and I'll add it to my list!


    1. Oh I love this Mary Lee! I have tried the "Where I am From" poem format at Stenhouse blog and love giving it a try. I'm enjoying your poems so much Mary Lee!

    2. Mmmm. Warm cherry tomatoes off the plant. I'm from there, too!

    3. Mary Lee -- love this music in this poem. The "Where I am From" poem is a great form for middle and high schoolers. It gives them permission to range far and wide (as you do in your poem)!

    4. Anonymous8:43 AM

      I love this foem. We have used it with our kids. I have written one as well. These are so wonderful, Need to create your own writing blog. The craziness of the week had slowed my posting of poems down!

    5. Love all the images. So lyrical!
      Of course my fave is Lubbers Lounge Lu Lu. I'm definitely from broiled spareribs. The "small town and narrow opportunities" is great, too.

    6. I like how everyone is chiming in to the parts of where you're from! You caught me from the beginning with smell of chlorine. I knew I could only ever marry a guy who thinks hair should smell like chlorine.

      And, yes, we do keep it all. Lovely.

    7. From a small town, and narrowed opportunities...I've traveled far. I can totally relate.

    8. I have always loved reading "Where I'm From" poems and this one is terrific. I love the specific details this poem brings out in people but I especially love the last stanza.

    9. Mary Lee,

      I, too, love the detail in this poem. Quite lovely indeed!

      Laura Evans

    10. A fine tribute to all of us who grew up in eastern Colorado... from my hometown I'd add lemon pie, a cheeseburger deluxe, peonies in spring, cicada shells and june bugs, sugar beets, elm seeds, Ernie's Market, bike rides, Freda's Cafe, something about Ben Franklin... all the things that seemed narrow at the time, but have grown us to be the teachers that we are (I'm sure Debbie would agree).

      Goatheads... I forgot about those!

      Uh oh, I feel another poem coming on! Good ol' George Ella Lyon. Thanks Mary Lee for reminding us!

    11. Sugar beets and Ben Franklin! Two more good ones, Patrick. (Glad there's someone out there who doesn't need an explanation of goatheads!!) And yes, it all made me who I am...who we are!

    12. I have to write something about the five and ten cent counter at Ben Franklin. How many peashooters and bags of peas did I buy?

      Goatheads and dog's paws, they go hand in hand!

      And, of course, churches... our little town had something like 13 different ones...

      ... oh, and lilacs and snowball bushes... and asparagus hunting armed with paring knifes and grocery bags...

      and A & W rootbeer in a cardboard cone!

    13. Always so many great links and resources - thank you!!

      I left you a gift on my blog - please visit and have a happy one!!

      Jennifer McIntyre


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