Today I attended a Coffee House with fellow UBC teacher candidates as a way to enhance our experience as future English (and literacy) teachers. The level of creativity at the Coffee House skyrocketed and I had the opportunity to perform a poem, with Rita – a friend and colleague in the Bachelor of Education program.
For those of you curious, I will post the poem below.
I’m from unsafe swing sets and water
Fights with pillows on sleepovers with no sleep
Sleep? Not sleeping on bunk beds, but jumping
Jumping on trampolines, trying to touch blue cotton candy clouds
Wanting to drive.
Drive the car on the family road trip to California
Cali, from Full House to Sailor Moon,
Moonlight Laser Tag
Tag in the dark
I’m from “I know you are but what am I”
“I spy with my little eyes, something that is…”
Is found in shiny gold wrappers
Unwrapping crinkling paper
Paper airplanes like UFOs travelling
Travelling the “universe and beyond” with Buzz
The buzzer goes off
“Knock it off, it’s not a playground”
Playground tree climbs, falls and fails
Never failing a water fight
Fighting in soccer fields that led to skinned knees
I’m from knees and toes dangling
Dangling on the front porch waiting
Waiting for my neighbour’s phone call
Calling about that broken window…
I am from windows broken by baseballs pretending to be ghosts
Ghost stories, Goosebumps and Are you Afraid of the Dark?
Darkness falls, Go Fish games and
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?
I’m from Bananas in Pajamas
from breakfast in bed with Major Bedhead
until “the clown jumped over the moon”
It is a simple “I am from…” poem, where the words “I am from” or “from” are occasionally repeated before proper nouns. It’s a great writing prompt that you can try with your own students. The poem shows how repetition, rhythm and descriptions can be used to make a poem more vivid, but it does not necessarily always have to make sense.
This particular performance alternated between two people, where one would read the italicized lines and the other would read those not italicized. It’s a fun activity that shows how writing and performing can be done collaboratively.
Give it a try,