Writing ideas from Indigo Williams
The poet Robert Winner was born in the Bronx in 1930. In his poem Home he evokes the landscape of the city that raised him. He gives us a snap shot of where he is from and in doing so, he paints us a picture about himself.
What things have made you who you are? What people, places or experiences? Tell us about those things by writing a poem about either a person, place or thing that expresses where you’re from. It could be a country, members of your family or even the chicken and chip shop you and your friends visit often.
Writing about things that matter to us help us to write poems that matter, so dig deep and write a poem about where you’re from and the places and moments that have shaped you.
Read the poem Home by Robert Winner and Where I'm From by George Ella Lyon (click here to download both poems). Pay close attention to the way the poets describe where they’re from with interesting verb choices and attention to detail.
Once you’ve read the poems you have two options as to how to begin your poem.
Option one: Follow the ‘I’m from…’ template, like the George Ella Lyon poem, using the repetition of the phrase ‘I come from’ to begin each new stanza.
Option two: Write freely in your own structure like the Robert Winner's poem Home or Amy Neilson Smith’s Brighton-Hearted, performed by the poet in the video above.
If you choose the template, follow the guided steps on the sheet to help you write your first draft. This is only to help you get started, feel free to take the poem anywhere you would like!
If you could sum up where you’re from in a picture what would that picture look like? Use that image to help you write your poem. Try drawing a picture of the moment you want to write about to help you visualise it better. For example, maybe the image is a freeze frame of you’re family at dinnertime.