Friday, April 14, 2006

One of my first assignments for my Storytelling class, other than telling stories (more on that later), was to write a poem. A poem!? Are you kidding me!? I thought I escaped that torture by choosing not to get a masters in poetry! But it wasn't as painful as I thought it was going to be. Mostly because I didn't worry about rhyming or rhythm or any of that nonsense; I just focused on the content. So, here it is:

Where I’m From

I’m from Birkenstocks, books, and teapots; and a basket of un-mated socks; from baklava and Christmas cookies; from sweet ripe blackberries and tart huckleberries – picked every summer.

I’m from thousands of brightly colored Legos scattered around the living room, my three siblings and I building castles and boats. “Has anyone seen a piece that looks like this?” My mom discovers a stray piece…in the middle of the night…in her bare feet. “Kids!”

I’m from sand in the bathroom, dirt from the garden, and pine needles in the carpet.
I’m from pansies and poppies, rosemary and nasturtiums – with leaves as big as dinner plates. I’m from bird feeders scattering seed all over the yard. And the cats often scattering the birds.

I’m from my grandpa, telling funny stories of growing up until tears are streaming down his face. And ours too. “Bean, beans the American fruit, the more you eat the more you toot!”
I’m from my grandma, making clam fritters from memory, after a long day of clamming.

I’m from Uncle Eldon and Aunt Betty, and from great grandmother Jayne, with poor eyesight, who once sat talking to a wooden Indian. I’m from great aunt Paula, great uncle Axel, and Inge and Arne in Denmark. So many relatives I never met, but who had such influence on me.

I’m from only one bathroom and five people getting ready for church. “We’re going to be late again.” “Shotgun!”
I’m from church potlucks and game night: Take Off, cards and Scrabble. Don’t know a word? “Look it up!”

I’m from fun and games, and “it’s not fair.” From all of this, and more.

That's probably the best poem I ever wrote. Can I be done with poems now?

Another class assignment, obviously, is to tell stories. I have to tell stories to three "audiences" each week. An audience has to be at least one person. Thanks to my roommate for listening to the story about why dogs hate cats.

Next I tracked down two little girls - a six year old and her younger sister. They were in a pretty wild mood but settled down enough to listen to two stories. The older girl guessed everything that was going to happen in the tailor story though! They wanted to hear more stories but I didn't have they told stories. Stories that they made up. That went on and on and had no point. And then they got more and more riled up. The older girl decided that we were buddies now which meant she could try to attack me and steal my glasses. Kids. I just don't get them sometimes.

Lastly I went to tell stories to the little girl in my house and her parents. She reacted much better. She listened well and joined in at her parts. And at the end she wrapped her arms around me and thanked me. It was very cute.

I get to learn two new stories tomorrow and will have to tell them next week. So if anyone wants a story, come on over...


@bdul muHib said...

That's a great poem, Aimee, and a great idea for a class too! I love telling stories, or reading them. That was my favorite part of being a librarian.

Aimee said...

Thanks Jedidiah. =) After everyone else read their poems I realized I need to do a lot more work! There is so much more I can put into this.

It was fun to hear everyone else's poems as well because in almost every one people were laughing and nodding and remarking that there were similar things for them growing up. People from vastly different backgrounds but we shared similar stories of growing up, and the sayings our parents had, and the games we played, etc.

When I get the time to work up a new one, I'll post it. =)

Cosand said...

I thought the poem was swell. Dang perfectionist. And you always have stories to tell. Usually about your family's most recent visit and the trips you planned for them. ;)

Stories. A good thing. Always!

Mom said...

Actually Aimee, you have always been a storyteller, coming from a family of storytellers. Remember "Of Seals and Sand"?. And "Baby D and me"?. You were making up stories and telling them as the oldest child to younger siblings for years. And your essays about personal experiences were always the best, except for one about over packing and blaming me? that kept getting redone for other classes and getting worse and worse each time? You may not think of yourself as a poet or storyteller now, but once upon a time, you were. And you were good. It runs in the family - you can't escape it. And I am glad you are taking this class. maybe it will reawaken some of those latent talents.

Jessica said...

Huh, good idea for a poem, mind if i steal it for my poetry class? We have to do a poem a week and I think my teacher may be sick of hearing about my love life ;-)

I will share mine with you if you dont mind. It may give you good ideas for revision.


Cosand said...

mwa ha ha ha ha!!!!

They're gangin' up on you Aimes. Encouraging you even! :O

The horror.....!!!

Aimee said...

aw, y'all are so sweet. =)

I made up stories for my siblings? I don't remember that... you remember this? I know I liked writing stories a lot anyway. hmm.

Jess- feel free, it wasn't my idea to begin with. My professor borrowed it from a friend of hers. As long as it's not about your love life, I'd love to read it. ;-)

jessica said...

the only "fiction" i remember, is when you tried to recount somthing that actually happened. I could do a whole psych study about your perceptions, geesh.

...or when you were trying to get me in trouble, those were fanciful tales indeed :-P

and i would never subject you to the boring details of my nonexistent love life or the mess i make of it, unless you wanted me too ;-)