Protected: Course Materials: I am from

If you want to do the "I am from" writing exercise, click here for the form

Sandhya’s poem as an example:

I am from ink stains, From incense and batik. I am from the manuscript-strewn dining room table, cluttered, continuously occupied, the elephant-stitched tablecloth a yellow as faded as my memories of my fatherland, as faded as the huldi stains on the dirty napkins from leftover curry. I am from mango stones, The spindly plants my father rescued from our compost pile and tried in vain to grow in the watery winter sunlight of Akron, Ohio. I’m from advent wreaths and afternoon tea, From Colina and Indumati, I’m from tenacity of spirit and romantic revolutionaries From “What’s the use in having a dog and barking yourself?” and from “the baldheaded man sits under the coconut tree only once.” I’m from the descendents of John Knox and equal education for girls, and from the descendents of Sita, women constantly facing trials by fire to prove our purity. I’m from the little island of Great Cumbrae off the coast of Scotland and the little village of Tildanga in the state of Bengal, Pies and chips and kabuli channa, From the cousin four times removed who immigrated, helped build the Brooklyn Bridge and returned to Scotland, defeated by the lack of opportunities for immigrants, From the great grandmother who cried herself blind when her son was poisoned, allowing another villager to steal her home, since Indian women had no rights to property. On the bottom shelf of the bookcase by the washing machine rest my photo albums Arbitrarily smashing my ancestral village and my visit to Disneyworld with my German exchange student into one visual narrative, Connecting me ever so tenuously to a history my adopted land will not let my children understand.