The Self-Metaphor Poem is a poem that describes the inner and outer you. For teachers starting a new school year, this is a great exercise for helping you better get to know your students. For the rest of us, it’s a fun way to explore who we are and what really matters to us.
The Self-Metaphor Poem is composed of two parts. The first part, which is 4-6 lines in length, details who we are in the world. For example, I am a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and blogger. To prepare for this part of the poem, brainstorm a list of all the things you are.
The second part of the poem, 2-4 lines in length, consists of an extended metaphor for the person you are inside, the person that may not be so obvious to the casual observer, yet is the identity that you feel truly makes you yourself. Free-write for three minutes to explore what it is that makes you different from anybody else. When you’re done, go through the free write and circle words and phrases you feel really hit the mark. For me, what may not be obvious at first glance yet is crucial to who I am is my love and commitment to living, learning, and writing. As you see, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one quality.
Now, think of a metaphor for this part of yourself. (Remember, a metaphor is a way of showing what one thing is like by calling it something different.) The metaphor I have chosen for myself is a half-filled journal.
Once you’ve completed these three steps, it’s time to write your poem.
I am a woman, a wife, and a mother,
a liver of life.
I am a journal, my pages half-written,
Sights, sounds, thoughts, and feelings,
Reflections of light.
When you’ve written your self-metaphor poem, share it with your writing partners. Compliment strengths in the writing. Have fun extending each other’s metaphors together. And share as your poem as comment. I would love to see the metaphors you came up with for what matters in your life.