Where I come From
Writer: Elizabeth Brewster who is a Canadian poet who has a deep love of her home.
Summary: This poem is about the poet meeting all sorts of different people and she notes their background and wondeful adventures but she contrasts this to the world that she grew up in before she met these people. She finds growing up in a small rural area with little need for money and education is very different from those in the urban world.
Form: The poem us in this person so makes it impossible to be able to express all the contents of the poem if it was in first person so it its easier to illustrate the vast difference from urban to rural which is made so dramatic by being in third person as if it was in first, the difference would be gradual. The first stanza is listing everything together and is packed together with short sentences which reflects the busy, packed city life which is described in this stanza. This contrasts stanza two which is more spaced out with more adjectives and more pasues which is like the empty, peaceful countryside which is not hurried with long, flowing sentences. The indentation in the second stanza is so it starts where the first stanza ends to illustrate the link between the two although there is a shift in idea but they still do co-exist together.
Tone: Postivie and nostalgic about nature- it can be beautiful but cruel, negative about the city,
Where I come from
Language and Imagery:
- 'People are made of places'-Plosive alliteration as well as a declarative statement stating that people are affected by their birthplace and that their character reflects the area they grew up in.
- 'They carry with them hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace or the cool eyes of sea-grazers'-The natural images of different environments are humanised or personified by people and how it is part opf your features.
- 'Atmosphere of cities how different drops from them.' There is alliteration which exaggerates the imagery the poet creates by talking about how the concept of beign different is given physical attributes that can't actually 'drop' but it gives the sense of individuality and uniqueness of every person,
- 'Like the smell of smog or the almost-not-smell of tulips.'-Sibilance which empahsizes the juxtaposition of the smell of something so strong and something so faint illustratingf the fact that the world is full of contrasts adn contradictions and these are so beautiful,
- 'nature tidily plotted in little squares.'-She is suggesting that globalisation is starting to make everything uniform as urbanisation is controlling the growth of plants so is taking away natural beauty.
- 'With a fountain in the centre.'-Fountain symoblises the reign of urban life over nature and is commanding nature to uniformity and implies a negative force,
Where I come From
- 'art also tidily plotted with a guidebook.'-the poet is criticising the lack of originality found when you see art as it is meant to be free but there is a sense this creativity is lost if you have to stick to a guidebook so they express themselves in art less and less so there is suppression,
- 'smell of work, glue factories maybe,'- The poet is expressing her opinions on the industrial revolution which is the place where it all began. She is using the smell to try adn make us remember those times as the metaphor 'smell of work' is hard to forget. Sense of claustrophobia and confinement in reader when talking about factories,
- 'People carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods.' The poet creates the imagery of man working in harmony with nature which contrasts with the city where nature is controlled. Freedom is created here which again contrast with the claustrophobic 'subways'-pride
- 'blueberry patches in the burned-out bush.' Alliteration here which emphasizes how we can create something new from the old-Could be addressing development and how we get rid of the old for new items so how the old, rural areas will be replace will new, urban areas in time,
- 'wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint... battered schoolhouses behind which violents grow.'-The poet tells us that there is a sense of history in her hometown which shows how natural it is that everything is left. Creates nostalgic feelings in the poet like she is metaphorically in her childhood which makes the reader think back to theirs. The idea the 'violets grow' gives the image that nature is taking over the place of study so they can triumph over something man-made and they let it,
Where I come from
- 'Spring and winter are the mind's cheif seasons; ice and the breaking of ice.'-Surreal. She is implying the life cycle from Winter to Spring. The ice represents rigidity and the conformity and how you are confined in the city. The breaking of it represents how you can't live in the city forever and feel so claustrophobic as you need 'breaks' from the stresses of the urban life,
- 'A door in the mind blows open, and there blows a frosty wind from fields of snow.'-Short final stanza which emphasizes the metaphor which is universal. She is suggesting that if you open your mind like a door, you can feel where you come from and how nature takes you-If you slow dow, you may discover beauty, your beauty, which is a contrast to out fast paced world. It has a re-assuring ending.
Links: The Planners- Both have a hatred over the urban world and the conformity and lack of creativity from the people that come from it and 'Horses' in the sense that there is a similar time sift in the poem which can be found when both talk about their past and childhood but are not chronological,