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Poems Depicting the Past and Present

            The poems "Where I Come From" by Elizabeth Brewster and "A Different History" by Sujata Bhatt both evidently display the relationship between the past, present and change. However, "A Different History" shows changes from a cultural and religious perspective, whereas "Where I Come From" discusses the changes in landscape and livelihood.
             "Where I Come From" addresses the past and present through the shift of thought and contrast between the first two stanzas. The first stanza illustrates the typical surroundings in a city-like environment. Conversely, the second stanza describes a rural, countryside town. The country town is an extended metaphor for Brewster's hometown, and the urban city represents her current residence. The first stanza describes city life with negative connotations. For example, the first stanza refers to the public transport as being busy when it reads, "smell of subways crowded at rush hours." This reference is then countered in the second stanza, "hens and chickens circle about, clucking aimlessly." These lines are used to indicate to the reader that there is little room in the city for people, however in rural areas there is an abundance of space, enough so that even wild animals have a vast amount of area to roam. The contrast of the two stanzas illustrates the idea that one's life starts off simple and tranquil, then transforms into a hectic and rushed existence. Brewster compares the nature of a rural town to that of a city in the lines "nature tidily plotted in little squares with a fountain in the centre" and "acres of pine woods; blueberry patches in the burned-out-bush." In these analogies, Brewster displays to the reader that in a city, deceptiveness is common, as in the natural world, plants and trees grow wildly and water flows uncontrollably, contrary to the descriptions of the elements in the first stanza.

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