Elizabeth BrewsterElizabeth Brewster
"Where I Come From""Where I Come From"
Brief overviewBrief overview
►The poem is about how our personalThe poem is about how our personal
identity is strongly in...
PoemPoem
► People are made of places. They carry with themPeople are made of places. They carry with them
hints of jungles...
Stanza 1Stanza 1
►The first bit is like the introduction to anThe first bit is like the introduction to an
essay, it summa...
Lines 1-3Lines 1-3
People are made of places. They carry with themPeople are made of places. They carry with them
Hints of...
People are made of placesPeople are made of places
TechniquesTechniques
►People are not made of places in a literalPeople are not made of places in a literal
sense – it’s as...
Atmosphere of citiesAtmosphere of cities
how different,how different, dropsdrops from them, like the smell of smogfrom the...
nature tidily plotted with a guidebook;nature tidily plotted with a guidebook;
 Nature in cities is not as wild free as i...
or the smell of work, glue factories maybe,or the smell of work, glue factories maybe,
chromium-plated offices; smell of s...
crowded at rush hours.crowded at rush hours.
►Use of plural here emphasises what?Use of plural here emphasises what?
►Note...
Stanza 2Stanza 2
The countrysideThe countryside
►This section of the poem creates a strongThis section of the poem creates...
Line 1 - the I persona’s identityLine 1 - the I persona’s identity
This is made personal by the use of ‘This is made perso...
peoplepeople
carry woods in their minds, acres of pinecarry woods in their minds, acres of pine
woods;woods;
►Another meta...
Some nerdy notes - don’t readSome nerdy notes - don’t read
unless particularly interestedunless particularly interested
► ...
Last two linesLast two lines
A door in the mind blows open, and there blowsA door in the mind blows open, and there blows
...
And finallyAnd finally
► StructureStructure
► Three stanzasThree stanzas
Two contrasting stimuli for creating identityTwo ...
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Where I come from

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Where I come from

  1. 1. Elizabeth BrewsterElizabeth Brewster "Where I Come From""Where I Come From"
  2. 2. Brief overviewBrief overview ►The poem is about how our personalThe poem is about how our personal identity is strongly influenced by the placesidentity is strongly influenced by the places we have lived and visited. This is an easywe have lived and visited. This is an easy idea to understand and relates directly toidea to understand and relates directly to you!you! ►She is also slightly critical of city life.She is also slightly critical of city life. ►Write down the places that have shapedWrite down the places that have shaped your life so far.your life so far. ►Choose the two most opposite.Choose the two most opposite.
  3. 3. PoemPoem ► People are made of places. They carry with themPeople are made of places. They carry with them hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic gracehints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace or the cool eyes of sea gazers. Atmosphere of citiesor the cool eyes of sea gazers. Atmosphere of cities how different drops from them, like the smell of smoghow different drops from them, like the smell of smog or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring,or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring, nature tidily plotted with a guidebook;nature tidily plotted with a guidebook; or the smell of work, glue factories maybe,or the smell of work, glue factories maybe, chromium-plated offices; smell of subwayschromium-plated offices; smell of subways crowded at rush hours.crowded at rush hours. Where I come from, peopleWhere I come from, people carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods;carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods; blueberry patches in the burned-out bush;blueberry patches in the burned-out bush; wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint,wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint, with yards where hens and chickens circle about,with yards where hens and chickens circle about, clucking aimlessly; battered schoolhousesclucking aimlessly; battered schoolhouses behind which violets grow. Spring and winterbehind which violets grow. Spring and winter are the mind's chief seasons: ice and the breaking of ice.are the mind's chief seasons: ice and the breaking of ice. A door in the mind blows open, and there blowsA door in the mind blows open, and there blows a frosty wind from fields of snow.a frosty wind from fields of snow.
  4. 4. Stanza 1Stanza 1 ►The first bit is like the introduction to anThe first bit is like the introduction to an essay, it summarises the idea of the poem.essay, it summarises the idea of the poem. ►The next bit is all about the city.The next bit is all about the city. ►It describes does this usingIt describes does this using metaphorsmetaphors andand a clevera clever pluralplural at the end.at the end. ►These things help create theThese things help create the tonetone
  5. 5. Lines 1-3Lines 1-3 People are made of places. They carry with themPeople are made of places. They carry with them Hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic graceHints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace or the cool eyes of sea gazersor the cool eyes of sea gazers This is aThis is a metaphormetaphor Draw this - here’s my effort.Draw this - here’s my effort.
  6. 6. People are made of placesPeople are made of places
  7. 7. TechniquesTechniques ►People are not made of places in a literalPeople are not made of places in a literal sense – it’s asense – it’s a metaphor!metaphor! ►You can’t get ‘You can’t get ‘cool eyescool eyes’ – it’s’ – it’s metaphoricalmetaphorical..
  8. 8. Atmosphere of citiesAtmosphere of cities how different,how different, dropsdrops from them, like the smell of smogfrom them, like the smell of smog or the almost-not-smell of tulips in the springor the almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring,, ► ‘‘Atmosphere’ don’t drop from people, it’s aAtmosphere’ don’t drop from people, it’s a metaphormetaphor again. The poetagain. The poet suggests that we ‘drop’ / give off evidence of the places we have been.suggests that we ‘drop’ / give off evidence of the places we have been. ► The author is trying to show that the atmosphere of the place you liveThe author is trying to show that the atmosphere of the place you live in can affect the way that you live, throughout the year as naturein can affect the way that you live, throughout the year as nature progresses through its seasons, atmospherically city life changesprogresses through its seasons, atmospherically city life changes greatly. Especially city folk – when you are a country bumkin and visa-greatly. Especially city folk – when you are a country bumkin and visa- versaversa ► smogsmog = telling us about a typical winters day with density of the air= telling us about a typical winters day with density of the air being greater and the water vapor blinding our sight,being greater and the water vapor blinding our sight, ► ‘‘the almost-not-smell of tulips in the springthe almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring’ = tells us how the flowers of’ = tells us how the flowers of spring are starting to blossom, not fully grown. The ‘spring are starting to blossom, not fully grown. The ‘smellsmell’’ of the tulips’’ of the tulips that grow in the city is ‘that grow in the city is ‘almost-notalmost-not ‘ the same richness as country side‘ the same richness as country side tulips.tulips.
  9. 9. nature tidily plotted with a guidebook;nature tidily plotted with a guidebook;  Nature in cities is not as wild free as in theNature in cities is not as wild free as in the county. It is organised by town planners andcounty. It is organised by town planners and included in city maps and guides. In the country,included in city maps and guides. In the country, there is not much restriction and no guide booksthere is not much restriction and no guide books as to what grows where.as to what grows where.
  10. 10. or the smell of work, glue factories maybe,or the smell of work, glue factories maybe, chromium-plated offices; smell of subwayschromium-plated offices; smell of subways crowded at rush hours.crowded at rush hours. ► This is the part whereThis is the part where she creates ashe creates a negativenegative tone.tone. ► Words with negativeWords with negative connotations do this.connotations do this. ► Write down the feelings andWrite down the feelings and thoughts that these wordsthoughts that these words connoteconnote ► What does she suggest aboutWhat does she suggest about life in the city?life in the city? ► Write an extended paragraphWrite an extended paragraph GlueGlue FactoriesFactories Chromium-Chromium- platedplated SubwaysSubways
  11. 11. crowded at rush hours.crowded at rush hours. ►Use of plural here emphasises what?Use of plural here emphasises what? ►Note down your answerNote down your answer
  12. 12. Stanza 2Stanza 2 The countrysideThe countryside ►This section of the poem creates a strongThis section of the poem creates a strong image of the countryside – positive andimage of the countryside – positive and negative.negative. ►Brewster usesBrewster uses first personfirst person,, metaphorsmetaphors, a, a cleverclever rhyming couplet,rhyming couplet, and structureand structure ►Keep looking at your photocopy of theKeep looking at your photocopy of the poemspoems
  13. 13. Line 1 - the I persona’s identityLine 1 - the I persona’s identity This is made personal by the use of ‘This is made personal by the use of ‘firstfirst personperson’’ She writes, ‘WhereShe writes, ‘Where II come from’come from’ In your essay refer to person in the poem asIn your essay refer to person in the poem as the ‘I’ persona.the ‘I’ persona. The poet uses techniques – one of those isThe poet uses techniques – one of those is first person - the ‘I’ persona.first person - the ‘I’ persona.
  14. 14. peoplepeople carry woods in their minds, acres of pinecarry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods;woods; ►Another metaphor – highly effectiveAnother metaphor – highly effective because of the comparison between thebecause of the comparison between the effects of location on the personalityeffects of location on the personality andand carrying something physically.carrying something physically. ►Going beyond the text -Going beyond the text - Brewster’sBrewster’s childhood, she comes from New Brunswick,childhood, she comes from New Brunswick, Canada, 80% forested and so the forest orCanada, 80% forested and so the forest or ‘woods’ will always be in the people’s minds‘woods’ will always be in the people’s minds as it is the centre of the little community.as it is the centre of the little community.
  15. 15. Some nerdy notes - don’t readSome nerdy notes - don’t read unless particularly interestedunless particularly interested ► Life 15:Life 15: direct contrast to the first stanza where everything is new anddirect contrast to the first stanza where everything is new and attractive. The old farmhouses are there solely to serve a purpose and untilattractive. The old farmhouses are there solely to serve a purpose and until they stop serving that purpose they will be kept, regardless of looks.they stop serving that purpose they will be kept, regardless of looks. ► Line 16-17Line 16-17: Brewster portrays a farming life with the ideas of chickens and: Brewster portrays a farming life with the ideas of chickens and hens kept in yards = provide a source of food;’ yards’ shows us that in thehens kept in yards = provide a source of food;’ yards’ shows us that in the country there is the room to spare to be able to keep them, whereas incountry there is the room to spare to be able to keep them, whereas in conjunction with stanza 1, the chickens would not be kept – no room or need toconjunction with stanza 1, the chickens would not be kept – no room or need to keep themkeep them ► Line 17-18:Line 17-18: emphasis on it being an old building remaining only for practicalemphasis on it being an old building remaining only for practical purposes and not being replaced by a more attractive building. ‘behind whichpurposes and not being replaced by a more attractive building. ‘behind which violets grow’ backs up the earlier line of ‘blueberry's growing in the burnt outviolets grow’ backs up the earlier line of ‘blueberry's growing in the burnt out bush’, it shows how nature can create a picture of beauty anywhere, out ofbush’, it shows how nature can create a picture of beauty anywhere, out of anything.- contrast to nature ‘tidily plotted’ (stanza 1)anything.- contrast to nature ‘tidily plotted’ (stanza 1) ► Line 18-19Line 18-19 Spring and winter = two opposing seasons; winter could thereforeSpring and winter = two opposing seasons; winter could therefore represent the cold city life and spring the colourful country life. ‘Ice andrepresent the cold city life and spring the colourful country life. ‘Ice and breaking of ice’ refers to something in the mind that is broken when one makesbreaking of ice’ refers to something in the mind that is broken when one makes the transition from the city to the country.the transition from the city to the country.
  16. 16. Last two linesLast two lines A door in the mind blows open, and there blowsA door in the mind blows open, and there blows a frosty wind from fields of snowa frosty wind from fields of snow ► Rhyming couplet – thereRhyming couplet – there blowsblows//fields of//fields of snowsnow ► Why is this technique used?Why is this technique used? To highlight the ending?To highlight the ending? The last two lines are puzzling. TheThe last two lines are puzzling. The door blowing open is just another gateway opening in the mind to the memories that shedoor blowing open is just another gateway opening in the mind to the memories that she holds of her childhood. The second half of these lines ‘and there blows a frosty wind fromholds of her childhood. The second half of these lines ‘and there blows a frosty wind from fields of snow’ = gives a feel to the picture that she has been describing and it gives thefields of snow’ = gives a feel to the picture that she has been describing and it gives the reader a cold feeling. The frosty wind from the fields of snow is relevant because inreader a cold feeling. The frosty wind from the fields of snow is relevant because in Canada the winter = very frosty, lots of snow and wind.Canada the winter = very frosty, lots of snow and wind. Or a more nerdy interpretationOr a more nerdy interpretation ► Another idea to ponder on the last two lines of the poem.Another idea to ponder on the last two lines of the poem. ► The "door" could be the memory opening in a blast ofThe "door" could be the memory opening in a blast of nostalgianostalgia, but the, but the ► association of winter and the "frosty wind" suggest somethingassociation of winter and the "frosty wind" suggest something less pleasantless pleasant, like a, like a realisation that the past, her place, is not so good after all. This is supported by therealisation that the past, her place, is not so good after all. This is supported by the content of the second stanza, where things may seemcontent of the second stanza, where things may seem superficially attractivesuperficially attractive in a rusticin a rustic way, but are “burned out”, “old, in need of paint”, where the chickens cluck “aimlessly”way, but are “burned out”, “old, in need of paint”, where the chickens cluck “aimlessly” and buildings are “battered”. So the suggestion is that it is easy to remember formativeand buildings are “battered”. So the suggestion is that it is easy to remember formative places all too positively, butplaces all too positively, but their legacy can be negativetheir legacy can be negative; a “frosty wind” in the mind?; a “frosty wind” in the mind? ► The rhyming couplet is a pleasant feeling technique on the tongue and it creates anThe rhyming couplet is a pleasant feeling technique on the tongue and it creates an ironic contrast with the message of sadness/nostalgiaironic contrast with the message of sadness/nostalgia
  17. 17. And finallyAnd finally ► StructureStructure ► Three stanzasThree stanzas Two contrasting stimuli for creating identityTwo contrasting stimuli for creating identity Two lines to finish Two contrasting stimuli for creating identityTwo lines to finish Two contrasting stimuli for creating identity Two narrative angles - third person and firstTwo narrative angles - third person and first In other words – the multiple influences on identity are represented inIn other words – the multiple influences on identity are represented in multiple stanzasmultiple stanzas

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