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This Elizabeth Brewster poem claims that people are made of their environments, their experiences. She contrasts the “construction” of people raised in an urban setting (subways, glue factories, etc.) with her own life experiences in the country (blueberries, wooden barns, etc.) and very often (not always) uses smells (“smells, and almost-not-smells”), odors that float in the air around people, especially as identifications. By ending the two-stanza poem with a couplet about the wind, she is not only strengthening this sense of identity, but at the same time pointing out that she, as a poet, freshens who she is by remembering the past landscapes that gave her a poetic identity. When she says “people carry wood in their minds” she is stressing that the memory of an experience is part of who a person is – “A door in the mind blows open” and the part of her that is past snowstorms blowing across farm fields is suddenly exposed.
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