Where I'm From | Teen Ink

Where I'm From

November 28, 2010
By katieheiserman SILVER, New York, New York
katieheiserman SILVER, New York, New York
6 articles 14 photos 6 comments

I am from sprinklers.
From tall buildings, and ivy-covered doors.
From the radiators too hot and my sweater’s too itchy.

I’m from rattling cups of change
And the men that soulfully shake them.
I’m from shoulders, up high,
From songs on the guitar,
From big hugs and beauty and
Birthday balloons.

I’m also from earrings, the dangly types.
I’m from four pairs of glasses.
And ice cream at nighttime and sandy hands at daytime,
Cups of coffee in the morning, dripping wax in the evening,
Stories told while I’m sleeping.

I’m from dreaming.
I’m from sun soaked floorboards.
Dusty halls and role calls.
From calloused hands that I grasp.
And all the time that has passed.

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This article has 4 comments.

rara said...
on Jan. 8 2011 at 4:06 pm
What really struck me was the ease with which she mixes registers and tones, allowing language to sweep freely from objects and locations to emotions and sensations. These subtle unhingings (“from the radiator’s too hot and my sweater’s too itchy”) and unlikely juxtapositionings (“ice cream” / “sandy hands” ; “coffee” / “dripping wax”) demonstrate a natural poetic sensibility. The poem is a container, into which Katie has thrown herself, thus building a unique landscape that is highly relatable yet utterly personal. Five glowing stars!

Boodle said...
on Jan. 5 2011 at 4:44 pm
The poem brings the reader from childhood to teenage years subtly and almost unoticably, which evokes what it is like to grow up. It says so much about the author, yet anyone (especially a teenager) could easily relate. Fantastic, katieheiserman!

Sumi said...
on Jan. 5 2011 at 11:59 am
As a literacy teacher I was impressed by how the poet described childhood experiences with such specific, pointed images, and yet with such lyricism.  I can feel those "itchy sweaters" and "sun soaked floorboards!" Bravo, Katie!

Caseopoeia said...
on Jan. 5 2011 at 11:25 am
What a beautiful poem! From the very first line, each image is musical and alive. I love "I'm from shoulders, up high" and "big hugs and beauty" and "sandy hands" and so many others.