Being Yourself Poems

Embracing your personal journey, needs, wants, flaws, and strongest character traits are all part of being yourself.

Poems that explore this theme are often more contemporary than classic, but that doesn’t mean being yourself poems are confined to the present day. In fact, poets like William Blake, Rudyard Kipling, and even William Shakespeare considered this topic at one point in their poetic works.

Any piece of poetry that embraces individuality, self-confidence, and the desire to fulfill one’s personal goals is also a poem about being yourself. No matter who you are or where you’re from, these poems have a universal appeal. Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are, and these poets have put that desire into beautiful, unforgettable verse.

Poem About My Rights

by June Jordan

‘Poem About My Rights’ by June Jordan is a one-stanza poem revealing a speaker’s thoughts on misogyny, sexism, and racism from their experience. It is celebrated for accurately portraying the struggles of women and men of color in a patriarchial and predominantly white society.

This topic only becomes apparent towards the end of the poem, where the persona encourages her people to live as they are.

My Kate

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘My Kate’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a sorrowful elegy dedicated to a morally righteous and important woman who has passed away. 

Kate's ability to be entirely herself throughout her life is an important part of this poem. She was always true to herself and never tried to change herself. Her attitude towards life and other people made her so important.

Bloody Men

by Wendy Cope

‘Bloody Men’ by Wendy Cope is a short, contemporary poem by a British award-winning author. It uses a metaphor to compare men to buses.

The speaker alludes to struggles with being herself and knowing what decisions to make regarding her future with men.

Flying Inside Your Own Body

by Margaret Atwood

‘Flying Inside Your Own Body’ by Margaret Atwood speaks on the freedom one can achieve in the dream world, verses the restrictions of reality. 

The poem encourages the reader to embrace their true selves and to pursue their dreams, even if they seem impossible or unattainable. The idea that flight and weightlessness can only be experienced in dreams suggests that pursuing one's goals and desires may require breaking free from societal constraints and expectations.

Tell all the truth but tell it slant

by Emily Dickinson

‘Tell the truth but tell it slant’ by Emily Dickinson is one of Dickinson’s best-loved poems. It explores an unknown “truth” that readers must interpret in their own way.

Part of telling the truth is being yourself and staying true to yourself.

Jest ‘Fore Christmas

by Eugene Field

‘Jest ‘Fore Christmas’ is a humorous, five-stanza poem that’s written from the perspective of a young boy looking forward to Christmas.

The speaker wants to be himself. He sees himself being a cowboy, not a missionary, and acting exactly how he wants throughout the year, except when he wants something from someone.


by Gregory Corso

‘Marriage’ by Gregory Corso is a humorous and interesting poem about the pros and cons of getting married and everything that comes with it, like having children. 

The speaker knows, or hopes, that being himself will eventually bring him to a woman that he can fall in love with and marry. He knows that because he exists that someone like him must exist too.

Oh Do Not Wanton with Those Eyes

by Ben Jonson

‘Oh Do Not Wanton with Those Eyes’ by Ben Jonson is a short, interesting poem in which one person describes the effect another person’s eyes have on them. They suggest this person should avoid showing certain emotions, so they aren’t impacted.

There is a very clear limit on the amount that the speaker is willing to let the listener be themselves in this poem. They are told what emotions they can and can't show because of the way that they could impact the speaker.

A little Dog that wags his tail

by Emily Dickinson

In ‘A little Dog that wags his tail’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of human nature, the purpose of life, and freedom. She compares animals, cats and dogs, to adults and children.

A still— Volcano —Life

by Emily Dickinson

‘A still— Volcano —Life’ by Emily Dickinson is an unforgettable poem that uses an extended metaphor to describe the life of the poet. She compares herself to a volcano that erupts under the cover of darkness.


by Adelaide Crapsey

‘Amaze’ by Adelaide Crapsey explores the poet’s hands and the emotions she experiences when she looks at them she sees her mother’s.

Darkness and Light

by Stephen Spender

‘Darkness and Light’ by Stephen Spender is a complex, abstract poem in which a speaker battles with two sides of himself. 

Eagle Poem

by Joy Harjo

Have you ever wondered how graciously an eagle floats in the sky by making circular movements? In ‘Eagle Poem,’ Joy Harjo depicts how it is similar to the cycle of life.

Fame is a bee

by Emily Dickinson

‘Fame is a bee’ by Emily Dickinson uses a bee to describe the fleeting nature of fame. She uses clever images and original poetic writing throughout.

Got You

by Jackie Kay

‘Got You’ by Jackie Kay is an interesting poem about sibling jealousy and the strength of sisterhood. The speaker is a discouraged child who believes her sister is superior to her in every way.


by Abhimanyu Kumar

‘Identity’ by Abhimanyu Kumar is a relatable poem that explores themes of memory, identity, and personal history while inspiring readers to take control of their lives.


by Julio Noboa Polanco

‘Identity’ is a figurative examination of selfhood, and a poetic warning against the dangers of conformity.

Into My Own

by Robert Frost

Robert Frost’s ‘Into My Own’ explores the concepts of maturity and growing up. The poet delves into the exploration of childhood and self.


by Dorothy Parker

‘Inventory’ by Dorothy Parker is a thoughtful and entertaining poem. It outlines what the speaker has in her life, would be wiser to know, better off without, and more.

Leap Before You Look

by W.H. Auden

W. H. Auden’s instructive poem ‘Leap Before You Look’ (1940) counsels readers to take risks rather than being cautious in each step. This poem is written in a wise and caring tone.


by Meena Alexander

‘Muse’ by Meena Alexander is a poem about the poet’s muse or source of inspiration. The poet recalls meeting and being positively influenced by a girl in her youth. 

My Grandmother

by Jackie Kay

‘My Grandmother’ by Jackie Kay depicts the poet’s understanding of her grandmother. The includes a juxtaposition between her positive and negative qualities. 

Never Trust a Mirror

by Eric Hanson

‘Never Trust a Mirror’ by Erin Hanson is a poem about beauty and self-worth. The poet describes the untrustworthy nature of a mirror and how one shouldn’t take what they see in it for granted. 

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