Pattern Poem Exercise

January 9, 2010


Pattern Poem Exercise

Imitate the following poem by George Ella Lyon by rewriting it, keeping the pattern of organization, but substituting your own details of place object nature food human elements. CLICK ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS TO SEE A LARGER IMAGE.

My Version of it is below Ella Lyon’s version or click twice on the image above:

Where I’m From ( George Ella Lyon’s version)

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded —
leaf-fall from the family tree.

Where I’m From (My Version )

I am from fairy tales,
from wishing stars and magic wands.

I am from the enchanted woods under the thundering cloud.
(Black, glistening, it tasted like licorice.)

I am from the waterfalls
the singing streams
whose long-gone waters I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from cookies and teapots,
from Tinker and Bella.
I’m from the Silly-Willies
and the goofy-ones,
from hands up! and hands down!
I’m from be thou with me through the day
with a golden book
and ten prayers I can say myself.

I’m from Neverland and Lilliput ,
candy cone and strong Chamomille.
From the wings my guardian angel lost
to the magnifying glass,
the heart my inner-child shut to keep his sight.

Under my pillow was a silky sack
spilling old photos,
a sift of lost places
to drift beneath my past.
I am from those memories–
snapped before I flowered —
whitering from the family branch.


  1. I really like how your poem turned out! After so much “formal training” I tend to turn up my nose at such exercises, but after seeing yours, I want to try! Maybe it will be something to put in my art journal? 😉

    • Thank you Cassandra! This is my first writing class (and as you can guess for my typos) English is not my native language, but as “Ari” (the instructor from the workshop) says…Just do it, don’t worry if is good or not; that is the only way, to keep adding practice & experience until one gets better on the long run. And I might add that:
      “if I don’t get better”…who would take away the fun I had while trying?!!!!!;)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: