“Do anything you want/The limits are the sky/ Only one restriction apply”: 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.’

Ms. Wright, 7th Grade

As I Should Be
By Lavina C.

Make my face the golden ratio
With a bunny face
Yet a stark contrast between Yin and Yang

My eyes should be round and even
And you shall find a galaxy in my eyes
The lashes should be curled and long
But not too much

My lips should be glossy
With a cool pink
And a hint of red

The clothes I wear should be elegant and classy
Nothing silly of any kind
And shall have white colors and cool pink

I should be in a dreamy and coquette room
With my cute and pretty mirror
And look like an artist’s room
With beautiful things all around it

There should never be bright colors
Everything should be soft
But if you add a bright green or yellow-ish green
I shall not be myself

My portrait
by Mekhii W.

Make my face round
As the grey moon on a
Dark night.

The background should
Be a large basketball with all
Different colors.

My eyes should be as
big as a ball.

Make the size of the canvas
Big and small like a fridge.
Make my face have tattoos.

The background should have
A basketball hoop.

Directing my Portrait
Jacob Y.

I wish my head would look similar to Venus
round while also being tan.
Trace my head with a clock rather than a
tennis racket.
The background needs to be an
intricate but also delightful sunrise that
rose at approximately 6:12 in the

After that, makes my pupils two different shades
of brown from the spectrum.
the right is brown while the other is as dark as
the night sky.

Your painting doesn’t need to be vertical as if
you’re plagiarizing Vicent Van Gough.
Make the art horizontal. Give it some depth

My final recommendations.
I should be wearing an ordinary T-shirt any
color, besides violet or pink.
I want my relatives and family involved.
Create them with feeling and also make them
Finally, I want to be hatless.

My Painting
By. Serena L

For this portrait, I would like my head
To be round but yet at the same time not too round
Where my eyes are shining with happiness
I also think that I should have some glasses
I shouldn’t be a stick figure

Behind me should be a meadow that looks somewhat calming
With some white birds in the sky
My hair looks medium long but not too short
Where it’s up to my shoulder with some bangs
Hanging in front of my eye.
And there shouldn’t be any other color than black for the outline,
Green for the meadow, white for some birds in the sky, and blue for the sky
And lastly, the signature should be in the lower right corner.

Mrs. Sicora, 8th Grade

by Linkui Z.

If you were to create a portrait of me
For any fair reason at all
You shall follow these instructions

my head circular
My emotion neutral
My eyes brown

Make my proportions extreme
More extreme than the craziest caricature
That you have ever seen

The background shall be anything of your choosing
If I had to choose
Refferences I would prefer

Put as many as you want
You will have the space.
For the canvas shall be big
Bigger than the world
And beyond

Do anything you want
The limits are the sky
Only one restriction apply
Make it interesting.

Self Portrayed
by Naomi W.

If someone was to draw my face,
without knowing who I am.
How would I describe it?
I would list these six request:

Make the size of the canvas as big as a loose leaf piece of paper.
Make my face a capital J, non-cursive.
My eyes should be two warning signs
without the !,
spaced apart by one.
The ears must be a tiny C,
at the end of the curve of the J.
My hair shall be long,
black strands of noodles but trimmed in the front,
marked but the top of the J.
My mouth will be one capital D, indicating an open smile.

by Jaylee N.

Just in case I do not make it, i’d
Appreciate if you made me a unicorn

You know,
the types you would see in shows

Let the hair be as long as you fit it to be, i must be magical.

Even if the Empty page still ends up isolated after you draw

Never use the color black
Eager with pink
please make it of use, it is my favorite thing in the world

getting Lost in your Sacred patience
i may Overreact
So please hurry

and sign your Name in the horn, i know you will have space.




“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.