Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meet Author Janet Smart---I Am From Appalachia

Several months ago my friend and published author of 31 books, Marilyn Donahue, graciously permitted me to present her wonderful post on the "I Am From..." poetic form.

I asked my readers to get the creative juices flowing and try the "I Am From..." Well, my blogging friend, Janet Smart, did just that. Boy, did she do it!
Janet gave me permission to post her beautiful piece.

Here's a little info about Janet---She writes from her home in Ripley, West Virginia and is an active member of the WVWriters. One of her Christmas stories was recently published in a book titled Christmas Traditions. Janet writes a children's column for the regional magazine, Two-Lane Livin'. She's working hard to have her first picture book published. Janet loves children's books, she studies hard, and she's not a quitter. Expect to see a picture book with her name on it one of these days (o;

Here's Janet---

I Am From Appalachia

I am from Appalachia
From hills and hollers
And grandma’s front porch
With quilt covered gliders
Cotton soft and squeaky.

I am from dirt roads
Rutted from cars
That rumble past and
Leave billowing clouds of dust
To scatter in the breeze.

I am from summer vegetable gardens
Plowed in early spring
With Uncle Romey’s horses,
Whose long manes and straight rows
Flowed behind them.

I am from thorny blackberry patches
Spread over hillsides
And gnarled grapevines hanging from trees
Waiting for eager young hands
To grab hold and swing.

I am from close knit families
Living in houses built by
Strong hands and loving hearts
And cousins playing in yards perfumed
With the scent of roses and lilac bushes.

I am from time gone by
When fireflies dotted
Dark country skies and
Families left their doors open
For a visit from a night breeze.

I am from Appalachia
And I dwell in the shadows
Of the rugged hills
Where I walk in footsteps
Left by my ancestors.

c 2009 Janet Smart

Did Janet's I Am From Appalachia inspire you to give it a try? It inspired me!

Get to know Janet by visiting her at
Janet is an amazing writer and her photographs are breathtaking!


Janet said...

Thank you so much Sheryl. You are too kind. I am glad you like my poem. It is all about my memories of growing up in rural West Virginia. I am persistent and I am committed to keep writing until I have a MG or PB manuscript published.I hope someone else tries the poem. You never know what you can write until you try.

Sheryl Crawford said...

Janet, your last verse brings tears to my eyes. It's so touching. You did an amazing job. Your ancestors would be proud (o;

Clementine said...

I love this poem. Janet is very talented and I enjoy following her blog. You're right - one day we'll find her signing copies at Barnes & Noble!

Sheryl Crawford said...

Janet, thanks for allowing me to post this! It's BEAUTIFUL! Hey! Let's hear from a bunch of Janet's followers. Anyone else giving the "I Am From..." a try?

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I sure did enjoy very much this profile on Janet. I also love her Appalachian poem. I visit her blog and so glad to learn more about this outstanding writer.

Your blog is great, too.
Visit my blog at:

Unknown said...

Beautiful! Reminds me of some of Cynthia Rylant's lovely imagery in her picture books. Ahhhh... you really capture the feel of Appalachia. Makes me want to visit!

Sherri - I just found your blog and definitely recognize some of your Scholastic titles, they are wonderful! This is my 12th year teaching first grade and I certainly have my share (shelves, lol) of Scholastic resources. AM definitely a fan and now of their online printables as well. Kudos to you!



I love Janet's work, esp this poem. Thanks for printing.

Blessings to you and your writing. I look forward to checking out some of your work. Barb
Writing: the ups and downs

Anonymous said...

Janet.....I know you've heard it before, but the poem is beautiful.
As I read the words it took me back in time when life was simple and good. Swinging on the grapevines, feeding the chickens, pickin' berries and walking barefoot in the rain, squishing the mud between our toes(had to save the shoes for church and school) And looking up on the hill where the garden was and seeing PaPa knelt down behind the horse and plow. MaMa would step out on the front porch and say "Youngins, be quiet for awhile, your PaPa's praying." Boy do I miss them. Thanks for bringing a smile. Carmen