Where I Come From – Elizabeth Brewster
From the title of the poem, we can assume that Elizabeth Brewster’s “Where I Come From” is about the place or places where the writer was born in or where she spent her whole childhood. We also assume that she is going to describe, tell memories and her opinion about the completely different places. Although the opening line “People are made of places” can be loosely described as form of alliteration, the repetition of the “p” sound is particularly effective because it creates an effect, which the shortness of sound reinforces the statement by establishing it as a truth. It also grabs the attention of the reader and makes the reader curious to read the rest of the poem. Brewster goes on to describe the “Atmosphere of cities” which is created by various distinctive smells such as “smell of smog”, “almost-not-smell of tulips in the spring”, “museum smell”, “smell of work, glue factories maybe” and “smell of subways crowded at rush hours”. Focusing on smells, rather than on sight and sound, suggests that the speaker’s memory of city-life and this sharply contrasted in the next half of the poem which is about nature, and the environment where she grew up. I think the line “Where I come from, people carry woods in their minds, acres of pine woods” has a strong impact on the reader because the speaker of the poem is starting to describe where she is from, how different and how better it is compared to the city-life. The writer also begins to idealizes farm-life. Brewster makes it sound much better than it really is. The second part of the poem is about the place where she grows up and she provides us with some stereotypical imagery of farm-life such as “wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint” and “with yards where hens and chickens circle about”. The line “Spring and winter are the mind’s chief seasons” reinforces the contrast established in the poem between town and rural life, though there is a change experience in the final...
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