SOLSC #23: Where I’m from Poem

I was away for most of the weekend, and I don’t think the comments I made from my ipad posted.  Sorry!  I’m back home on my laptop so I will catch up.

This poetry idea is from Allan Wolf’s Immersed in Verse.  The students I worked with last week and I are working on our poems.  Here’s my draft:

Where I’m From


I am from Larry and Leslie

I am from cross cultures – a Midwesterner transplanted in South Florida via

Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, and Germany; an Army brat.

I am from cement, sand, and the smell of salt water.

From sunburns and fish scales.

I am from Umbrella trees and Bougainvillea.


I am from an aunt, uncle, grandparents, and great grandparents.

From meat and potatoes and empanadas

From pecan pie and Girl Scout cookies.

I’m from book-of-the-month club and visits to the library. 

From Clean your room! and You’ve got til the count of three!


I’m from smoke, crashing pins, and snack bar food.

From competition – in academics and athletics. 

From 80s music that got progressively louder as the decade passed, exchanging melodies for metal,

Michael Jackson to Metallica.


I am from divorced parents who remarried . . .each other. 

They always expected I would go to college, but didn’t apply pressure.

I am from support, encouragement, and freedom.

I am from trust, respect, and an appreciation of independence.


All of these roots have opened countless doors, availed me of endless opportunities. 



25 thoughts on “SOLSC #23: Where I’m from Poem

  1. Ramona

    Love these lines:
    “From meat and potatoes and empanadas
    From pecan pie and Girl Scout cookies.”
    I think I’m ready to try my own “where I’m from” poem.

    1. readerlee Post author

      Thanks, Ramona! I think you’ll find that it’s fun. I look forward to hearing what the students did with it. They enjoyed the brainstorming part.

  2. Jaana

    I LOVE where i am from poems!! I did mine the first year I sliced. Your last line is very meaningful! And the lines about music were fun!

  3. arjeha

    I have always enjoyed I am from poems. They give us a chance to reflect on what made us who we are and they are also a great way for others to get to know us.

    1. readerlee Post author

      They are. And I great way for us to get to know different things about our students. It’s sort of a special challenge writing when you know people who have known you for many, many years are reading. Can I get something in there that they don’t know?

  4. Tara Smith

    I am from support, encouragement, and freedom.
    I am from trust, respect, and an appreciation of independence.
    – Great lines! We do these poems at the end of our sixth grade year, it’s a format that makes you think, right?!

  5. jen b.

    Where you are from sounds much more exciting than where I am from… until I really started thinking about it and wondering if I could make where I am from sound just as intriguing! Well done – you captivated my attention, piqued my curiosity, and motivated me to write. Isn’t that a success as a writer!?!?

  6. elsie

    It is interesting to reflect on what our experience are and how they formed us to be who we are. I love doing this with kids at the beginning of the year, it let’s me know a bit more about each. Your poem leave the reader wondering how some of these things go together.

    1. readerlee Post author

      You’re right, Elsie, this would be great at the beginning of the year. I look forward to sharing the idea, and maybe even finding a colleague who wants me to come in and teach.

  7. aggiekesler

    I love how you took us on a journey through your life with this poem! 😉 It’s difficult to write one of these poems. I’ve tried, and it took many, many drafts. It’s difficult to decide what goes and what stays. I love your line “from meat and potatoes and empanadas” because it shows your various cultures that have influenced your life. Here’s mine from last year’s SOL challenge:

    1. readerlee Post author

      Thanks for your feedback, Jennifer, and for sharing your poem. I love how descriptive it is, but the last line is definitely my favorite. Quite a contrast to the rest of the poem, and yet, it’s the life you’re leading! I was also happy to read that you worked on it for months. I definitely have not done that, but this morning I thought, the poem doesn’t really reflect the influence of my dad’s side of the family. I’m ready to rewrite! I guess I’ve got a year to revise and I can post again next year. 🙂

      1. aggiekesler

        Yeah, I worked on it and made several lists and drafts in my poetry notebook before I published it. I still think it deserves some looking back and revising. 🙂 Good luck on your revisions!

  8. Julie Johnson

    I love Where I’m From Poems. I wrote my first one when I was in the summer institute with the Columbus Area Writing Project. It’s a wonderful way to think about what’s important to who you are and at the same time for people to get to know you.


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