Can anyone help with a poetry analysis for "Where I Come From"?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Elizabeth Brewster's "Where I Come From" is a twenty-one line poem broken into two stanzas (the first containing eleven lines and the second containing ten). It is written using free verse. The lines of the poem follow no specific meter or rhyme.

As for poetic device included in the poem, alliteration and assonance are used repeatedly (alliteration: "people" and "places" in line one; assonance: "made" and "places" the "a" sound in line one). Brewster also uses hyperbole (an obvious exaggeration). The carrying of acres of pine woods by people's minds exemplifies the hyperbole.

The imagery of the poem is strong, appealing to all five senses of the reader.

Sight- "Wooden farmhouses, old, in need of paint" (15)

Sound- "clucking aimlessly" (17) and "breaking ice" (19)

Smell- "the smell of smog" (4) and "smell of subways (10)

Taste- "blueberry" (14)

Touch- "guidebook" (8) and "glue" (9)

As for the poem's meaning, it speaks to place and identity. The poem contrasts the jungles, mountains, and cities to the woods where the speaker grew up. The speaker sees all, making him or her omniscient. This said, the second stanza offers readers a far more personal glimpse into the life of the speaker over the first stanza (which only offers a generalized explanation, yet uses vivid language).

The second stanza offers a sense of the speaker's nostalgia. The speaker speaks warmly of "where I come from." Yet, it does not offer an overly sensitive description.

Read the study guide:
Where I Come From

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question