“And my hair as long as Rapunzel’s”: Self Portrait Poems

Students read Instructions to the Artist by Billy Collins before crafting their own portrait-inspired poems.

Lesson Note: According to findings by the leading researcher on the power of writing and journaling for healing purposes, James Pennebaker, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Austin, ‘…expressive writing occurs on multiple levels–cognitive, emotional, social, and biological–making a single explanatory theory unlikely. However, there is little doubt that writing has positive consequences.’

Group 309

by Abani P.

I want my eyes to be a deep ocean blue
I want the canvas to be the size of a fresh
sheet of paper
I wish for the background to be filled by
a barn with horses around it spread apart like
the planets in the solar system
I want to be seated calmly like a swan
in the water
Give me a tall top hot like Abraham Lincoln’s
Give me glasses that take up half of my
Make my hair in any way you please just
not that messy
My body isn’t of much greatness just a
few non-straight lines
Make my head the size of half the canvas
And give me an old-fashioned mustache.

by Mary G.

I want my eyes as green as a pear
And my hair as long as Rapunzel’s
With a unibrow hairier than a polar bear.

My face expression should be how you are feeling
But I want to do something fun
Without having to run
Make my face be your insecurity

The canvas size should be as big as you
With the background filled with creativity
And the sky with stars and the Northern Lights

This is my last request
So it will not be a mess
Jewelry is what I shall wear
So the parenting won’t tear.

I Wish
by Jazmin C.

I wish I was my dream
Mek me have brown eyes the size of buttons from
circular clocks
The background in which I sit should be
at the beach sitting down
I’ll be sitting down on a blanket on
the sidewalk of the beach.
My face should be like an almond
type circular face, like a fingernail
underneath my face which will surround m;y
the neck shall be an infinity sign necklace
My eyebrows make them like leafs
My lips, pink as roses
My ears, make them, have hoop earrings
At last, make me look like a stickman
with a white flowy dress.

Group 303

Should Be As
by Pareezeh D.

My eyes should be as green as syrup
leaf shaped
The background filled with sea black sky
The canvas, your Ipad at home.
My body as sticks with paws and a hoodie
floating up a high…
My hair a waterfall going on forever with splash
Earrings so bright they blind you

Lastly, an expression filled with joy

Self Portait
by Enes G.

My eyes
blue s the sea
for to see
I’ll see soon,

have a lakehouse to my right,
for a place to live
I’ll have a huge room

The canvas, big enough for the sea and like
I’ll have a canvas sun,
Have me wear a Justin Fields jersey
have s Superbad 58 logo on top of me,
Have a football to my right and left
Have me sit on a school chair,
Have a football in my hands,
Have a box of sports shots next to
me from Nike
Soon I will
Be myself!

How to Draw My Portrait
by Sofia B.

The size of the canvas
should be medium size

The background is next
it should be me inside a house
with at least one animal in it
The animal could be a
dog, cat, fish, lizard, bird
any animal you want

Next is Me
My face should be round
My eyes should be blue
My hair should be straight and brown
Give me a smile, to make me look happy
if you want put me in my PJs.

Finally, add anything you want
and when you’re done
Sign your name so you can
be remembered as the person who
drew me

by Miles K.

I want to be me in the future
My Hair
My Eyes
My Mouth
My Self



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.