Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Elizabeth Brewster "Where I Come From"

People are made of places. They carry with them
hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace
or the cool eyes of sea gazers. Atmosphere of cities
how different drops from them, like the smell of smog
or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring,
nature tidily plotted with a guidebook;
or the smell of work, glue factories maybe,
chromium-plated offices; smell of subways
crowded at rush hours.

Where I come from, people
carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods;
blueberry patches in the burned-out bush;
wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint,
with yards where hens and chickens circle about,
clucking aimlessly; battered schoolhouses
behind which violets grow. Spring and winter
are the mind's chief seasons: ice and the breaking of ice.

A door in the mind blows open, and there blows
a frosty wind from fields of snow.


Southeast corner of Orange and Wentworth

5 Comments:

Blogger Sherri said...

lovely.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Mexicaneagle said...

I like the use of rhythm in this poem. The first part, describing city life, is full of short, fast, fragmented phrases. Everything is much more tranquil, slow and complete in the second half.

The last two lines are puzzling. The "door" could be the memory opening in a blast of nostalgia, but the association of winter and the "frosty wind" suggest something less pleasant, like a realisation that the past, her place, is not so good after all. This is supported by the content of the second stanza, where things may seem superficially attractive in a rustic way, but are "burned-out", "old, in need of paint", where the chickens cluck "aimlessly" and buildings are "battered". So is the suggestion that it is easy to remember formative places all too positively, but their legacy can be negative; a "frosty wind" in the mind?

10:12 AM  
Blogger Damo C said...

This is not even the full poem.

People are made of places. They carry with them
hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace
or the cool eyes of sea-gazers. Atmosphere of cities
how different drops from them, like the smell of smog
or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring,
nature tidily plotted with a guidebook;
or the smell of work, glue factories maybe,
chromium-plated offices; smell of subways crowded at rush hours.


Where i come from, people
carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods;
blueberry patches in the burned-out bush;
wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint,
with yards where hens and chickens circle about,
clucking aimlessly; battered schoolhouses
behind which violets grow. Spring and winter
are the mind's chief seasons: ice and the breaking of ice.

A door in the mind blows open, and there blows
a frosty wind from fields of snow.

6:02 AM  
Blogger The Strolling Wolf said...

I like this poem :-)

7:58 PM  
Blogger cassandraviolet said...

"People are made of places"
I love that!

11:50 AM  

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