As part of my home school curriculum, I am doing a project called Words That Burn. It was launched by Amnesty International and is aimed at teaching young people about human rights, whilst encouraging them in their creative writing, mainly poetry. Learning at its best, in my view.
So, today I wanted to share a poem that we had to analyse in my project. It’s a really powerful and beautiful piece by spoken word artist Dean Atta, on the topic of identity. After that, we had to write our own poem, about our identity.
However, before we go into all of that exciting stuff, I have an important announcement to make! 🙂 You can now go vote for the nominees in Megan’s Part 1 of the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards! I am literally jumping up and down right now because I WAS NOMINATED IN TWO CATEGORIES! Wow, I never expected that. Anyway, go vote! And good luck! *proceeds to dance around the room*
Okay, so coming back to the poem. I present, I Come From by Dean Atta.
I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast
Jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves
I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live
I come from a home that some would call broken
I come from D.I.Y. that never got done
I come from waiting by the phone for him to call
I come from waving the white flag to loneliness
I come from the rainbow flag and the union jack
I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase
I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water
I come from crossing oceans to find myself
I come from deep issues and shallow solutions
I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination
I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother
I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead
I come from wherever I lay my head
I come from unanswered questions and unread books
Unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks
I come from who I trust and who I have left
I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed
I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself
I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales
I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry
I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers
I come from published words and strangers’ smiles
I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper
Each a story or poem that never made it into a book.
I just love love love some of the lines in this, they’re so poignant. “waving the white flag to loneliness” “crossing oceans to find myself” “being given permission to dream, but choosing to wake up instead” I could go on and on and on. Seriously.
Now comes the challenging part. I had to write a poem like his: an I come from….. poem. So I sat down and made a list of the things that have shaped my identity and then crafted them into this poem.
I Come From by Gracie Chick
I come from words springing from emptiness,
I come from the pages of a book,
I come from misty mornings in my mind and conversations long into the night,
I come from the flames of a candle and the glowing embers of a campfire
I come from struggles and determination and an overwhelming desire for true friendship.
I come from missing the sunrise and waiting all day for it to set.
I come from craving beauty in a world I want to change,
I come from tears and discontentment,
I come from dreaming big
I come from two amazing hearts that never lose faith.
I come from wanting more than black and white
I come from music that no one else hears and stories that no one else sees,
I come from a river of ink and a land of where the honey is too sticky and sweet and the milk soured long ago.
Hope that made sense to you guys! Now, the big question is……
Where do you come from???
Please answer in the comments, debating is more than welcome!
And now, time for the second big announcement. Some of you might remember reading my discussion post on makeup a few weeks ago. If so, you’ll probably recall that I included a section detailing the thoughts of many different teens throughout the blogosphere. The result was amazing and everyone really got into the discussion element of it. So, I was thinking I’d make this a regular thing. If you’re interested in contributing your opinions to these future discussion posts, please drop me an email at email@example.com
Then, whenever I need your thoughts, I’ll send out an email (probably monthly) and you can reply with your contributions. This is aimed mainly at teens, but if you’re older or younger and would still like to participate, feel free. Also, if you sign up, you don’t have to participate very time. If you’re ever too busy or just don’t want to contribute that’s totally fine. Hoping to see lots of interest in this!
What did you think of Dean Atta’s Poem? What about mine? Complete this sentence: I come from…
Are you going to sign up to give your opinions in my future discussion posts?