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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 1206 words

The poem Where I Come From by Elizabeth Brewster talks about how a persons birthplace affects their character.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Where I Come From The poem âWhere I Come Fromâ by Elizabeth Brewster talks about how a personâs birthplace affects their character. Wherever you go in life, you will carry with you memories and echoes of your birthplace, where itâs a city, as in the first stanza or the quiet countryside as in the second stanza. This idea shows us that who we are is shaped by where we were born and where we grew up. Itâs written in free verse. The first stanza has a conversational tone to it, itâs philosophical. It talks about the fast paced city life, and how in a city everything runs like clockwork. The first two lines itself tells us about the theme of the poem; âpeople are made of placesâ. The poet has written a simple sentence which makes it more powerful, and increases clarity. The poet has used a full stop after this statement which makes the reader pause and think about the statement. âThey carry with them hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace or the cool eyes of sea-gazersâ, jungle and mountain are two contrasting landscapes.

Middle

âThe fountainâ suggests how man interferes with nature. In the next line, âmuseum smellâ gives a sense of history and a sense of something preserved. Art represents free thought and creativity, and in this line we can see that even manâs creativity is controlled and plotted. The ââguidebookâ can be a metaphor for life, and how people in the city try to control everything. The word âtidyâ again shows us how the people of the city are obsessed with planning and organization. The poet then talks about how the city is full of skyscraping office buildings built of steel and other sharp precise materials to give a uniform look and feel to the atmosphere, also with great complexes comes great amounts of pollution, which Elizabeth is relating to with the âsmell of work, glue factories maybe.â Smell of work also shows us how people are being made of places, as stated in the poem earlier. The images the poet is bringing out give a sense of materialism and materialistic lifestyle- âchromium platedâ. In the end of the stanza, âsmell of subways crowded at rush hoursâ shows the congestion that is caused by overpopulation of the city.

Conclusion

The next few lines are very important. âSpring and winter are the minds chief seasons: ice and the breaking of iceâ. Spring and Winter are two opposing seasons. In this line, the poet has used them as a metaphor; Winter could represent the cold city life and Spring could represent the colorful country life. âIce and breaking of iceâ refers to something in the mind that is broken when one makes the transition from the city to the country. The next line, âA door in the mind blows open, and there blows a frosty wind from fields of snowâ, could be telling us that the door blowing open is just another gateway opening in the mind to the memories that she holds of her childhood. âAnd there blows a frost wind from fields of snowâ, conveys a feel to the picture that she has been describing and it gives the reader a cold feeling. The frosty wind from the fields of snow is relevant because in Canada the winter is very frosty with a lot of snow and wind. The âdoorâ could also be the memory opening a blast of nostalgia t the association of winter and the âfrosty windâ suggest something less pleasant, like a realization that the past, her place, is not so good after all.

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