Peer Review by Pocahontas (Philippines)

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Where I am From

By: Snowflake501

I am from the red of the paprika,
From the golden dust it leaves behind
And the ting of spice it leaves in my mouth.
I am from a steaming bowl of chopped meat stew,
From floating vegetables and boiling potatoes,
From a salty broth of everything that is home.
I am from the spiral of a ‘Wasp’s Nest’,
Coated with a powdering of sugar that sticks to my hair, 
From the sweet aroma of cinnamon suspended in the air,
And the honey that sticks to my fingers. 

I am from the white of the egg I eat every morning, 
From the sizzling of coconut oil I wake up to hear, 
And the white of milk I pour in a glass. 
I am from the cold of a blizzard,
From the pitter-patter of hail,
During which I was born. 
I am from the crisp of a fresh layer of snow 
And the hazard of icy roads
That creek and crack underfoot. 

I am from a wide field of green my grandparents tend to, 
From the blossoms of Spring flowers they’ve planted,
And the promise of endless adventure yet to be discovered.
I am from soft petals that tickle my skin,
From the smooth edges of dirt on my bare-feet, 
And the gentle wind that sways my hair.
I am from my faith which strengthens me, 
From the God who guides and protects me, 
From the family that loves me and defines ‘home sweet home.’

Message to Readers

Hi everyone! This is my first "Where I am From" poem, and I would love to hear your feedback!

Peer Review

Reading this poem made me feel like I had been transported into your home, and what left an even greater and more lasting impression was how you did it. You seated me at your dining table, and then led me out into your driveway, and then over to your grandparents' garden. If I could sum up the feeling your poem gave me in a single word, it would be 'welcome'.

While I do love the little world you set up in the piece and your move to focus on the small things instead of the big ones, like coconut oil and hailstones and spring flowers, I think the beauty of an 'I am From' piece is that it isn't just about the things that directly surround you. It's about how these small things make you who you are. I'm sure you chose these particular images fo particular reasons; they aren't random, but I would love it if you were to share those reasons with me as well. How has your morning egg helped you become the person you are today? Is it because you associate breakfast with your family? Do you have any significant memories attached to it? I really hope you manage to integrate both the 'what' and the 'why' in your piece; it would make it all the more beautiful.

My favorie lines are "From the pitter-patter of hail,/during which I was born". I feel like these lines are what encapsulate what I felt was missing from the rest of the piece. You are 'from' hailstones, because you were literally born from it. In a strange but beautiful way, you ARE a hailstorm. It's in lines like these that you're really able to show how something as common to many as eggs or dirt is special to you, and is integral to your identity.

You have a piece with wonderful potential here and I would love to see how you strengthen it and help it grow into an even more amazing thing. Keep writing!

Reviewer Comments

Also, I was just curious, was it a conscious decision to really not mention the actual place you are from?