Picture This

We settled into our groove for the second week of poetry by reading and discussing Afaa Michael Weaver‘s “Self-Portrait.” There’s a lot of sophisticated language in the poem, and I encouraged students to focus more on the feelings they got from it than its ‘meaning.’ We talked about the speaker’s attitude, as well as what they were describing. Since the first words are “I see myself,” we wondered if the speaker was looking in a mirror, or other reflective surface, especially since the words raindrops, water, swim, leaf, green blades (of grass?), gardens, and plant suggest they’re outside. I asked if the students knew what a self-portrait is, then if a poem could be one, since poets ‘paint’ pictures with words? We also discussed two terms we learned in 2nd grade, simile and alliteration, identifying where (and how) the poet used them in his poem.

The idea this week was to write a self-portrait poem, either of themselves, another person, or character. Enjoy!

Mrs. Carlson, 4th Grade

The Empty Frame
Jayden I.

Once I went to a gallery
I saw a mischievous frame
for when I looked at the
frame, it reflected back as a
hawk. With wings spread wide it
soared and when I looked again
I saw a lion roaring with its
mane prickling. With its intimidating
call it was very frightful. The last
time I looked, it was empty.

Staring Inside
Ailey K.

I stare at my reflection beaming in the mirror,
but is it what matters, is it me?

I stare out the window with an
empty soul, waiting for an answer

I stare deep into the horizon with an empty heart,
waiting for an answer

I stare out onto the ocean with an empty
mind, waiting for an answer

I barely sleep with a fidgeting body,
waiting for an answer

I stare again at the mirror with
an enthusiastic spirit, it think I have found an answer.

Darian K.

I have very straight hair.
I have blue eyes.
I have a wide nose.

My hair is also a lightish color.
I can make my nose small or wide.
I can’t really think of anything else.

There is not really much to me. I
am very simple.

What Dogs Do in the Mirror
Tierra M.

I run to my owner’s room
I see another beast.
It stares at me so angrily.
It has drool hanging from its mouth!
It has a pretty pattern and it is very short.
It looks so adorable.
My owner, Tierra comes in and stares.
Another Tierra comes by that beast!
I barked and ran away.

My Self Portrait in Seasons
Amber P.

Self portraits,
like a picture

In Winter
throwing snowballs

In Spring
on a vacation

In Fall
playing with leaves

In Summer
at a waterpark


How I See Myself
Alex R.

Now that I see
behind a field only filled
with beautiful people
realize I
fit in I never have
I never
will always be in that field
with no
body there

With nobody to compliment me
no one to
or encourage me I never
imagined myself just
person who
stands out of the
crowd but stands
in the

Picture Perfect!
Anjali R.

There I stand
so perfectly still
ready for the bright flash

sitting there waiting
with a dark shadow behind
me as the camera clicks

I stand with friends
with my dark black
hair, with bright reddish pink
dresses like raindrops on roses
at midnight.

We are picture perfect.

One Self-Portrait
Ayden S.

One day
one person
one easel
one paint brush
one palette
one chair
one self-portrait

Read (or not)
Elisa X.

I see myself looking in a book
I always read
I don’t stand up to look
at my sister, kneading the dough for bread

I see myself
sitting on the couch
holding my cat
but still reading my book
I will never change

I look at myself
sitting in the car
on my way to the store
but still reading
I will never change

Now I see myself
playing with my dog
King Arthur the Great
(I know, that’s a weird name)

Now I’m not reading
now I’m writing
this poem right here
I have changed.

Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade

Self Portrait
Jaren B.

I feel great and sometimes sad
I like to make and I get mad.

But most of all, I think that
I’m in the middle of everything.

I’m in the middle of the universe
I’m in the middle of this earth
I’m in the middle of this school
and I’m in the middle of this city

but I think why? Because
god has blessed me with middle

That’s why I’m proud to be a middle

Maddy D.

When I look
I see a beautiful
I can’t stop
from doing as I wish.

But it is not what
control it is what I
make myself

As the water
catches my reflection,

I see myself
rippling in with the
waves as I,
control my smile,

my smile.

Jessica G.

I can see myself in a mirror,
it faces me and stares,
when people tell me things,
I just think it’s their’s.

Always different from what
people say,
maybe I’m just going away.

Lennox G.

I like to think of
myself as someone

As if I never came
to this world

When I stare into
space, I transform…

How I Feel
Eliana K.

Every day I feel like a balloon in
the sky. Seeing the whole
world and learning.

But at night I
drift away to
sleep. I see all of the
bright stars hugging me

Me, Myself, & I
Ila L.

Me, my enormous eyes.
The hazel color.
It shines in the sun
it shines in the light.

Myself, I’m always hungry
three meals a day is not enough.

I, I think it’s fun to draw.
That’s what I should’ve drawn for this.

Self Portrait
Maya M.

I see myself as a
flower delicate as can
be beautiful petals
as they flow in
the wind

with a colorful
soul and if
I fall I come
back up.
A flower I
see me.

Mrs. Travis, 4th Grade

Isabella G.

Wet like the ocean waves
sore like a dinosaur
never dry
can’t move
never fall,
filled with chlorine
swim like a champ

I See Myself
Rakiyah H.

I see myself growing
I see myself sleeping
I see myself stronger
I see myself bigger
I see myself in the light

Self Portrait of Different Looks
Caden K.

The way I look is someone else’s
looks. How my brother looks is how I look.
We all look the same in a way look at
the mirror look at the window you you
will change we all do.

Alexandra M.

I look at myself in the mirror, wondering when my
reflection will appear. But when it finally comes through
the glass it shattered into pieces. Mirror, mirror, on the
wall, what’s my future? I wonder why is my self portrait
so easy to create in the mirror but then shatters?

Self Portrait
Sophia N.

I see myself in the mirror who am I? I have
a weird shaped nose, I have big lips. I
have round orange eyes. I have green
skin. Now I know I was imagining
everything. I know what I look like
now. I’m a monster.

Somebody of Nowhere
Alana O.

The cherry lips of roses the
scarlet hair the smile of
sunshine. Teeth so white they
could blind hair so silky
people could mistake it for fake
everything is real from her cherry
lips to her ribbony hair. Some people
venture to find this beautiful
maiden but all who dare shall
not survive.

Ari R.

describe myself
as a person who
is angry and determined
to make people think
I’m not a ghost.

Self Portrait
Emily X.

I can see myself in the mirror,
a mirror is like a shadow.

I know I am happy because I could
see myself in the mirror and the shadow.

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

Terrence G.

My name is Terrence and I
am the tallest in the class
am strong too

Self Portrait
Isaiah I.

In the inside nice on the
outside I feel …. like a
monster I don’t feel good
I feel with a sad virus
horrible I sick with
sadness when the rainbow
comes up it feels like
my virus is going away.

Miles K.

Just waking up with a blank stare to my closet doors.
Lying in bed for a while then I go

I am quietly doing an important part of my routine
when I hear the 1st alarm to make breakfast.

After I do what I do I go upstairs as the 2nd alarm
to go get dressed and brush my teeth.

Then I wait downstairs as I enjoy the
time of my day.

And now I am creatively writing my day up to now.
Now it is just 1/24/17.

Me in the Future
Roman M.

I see myself as a star soccer player. I’m at
a game. I’m in a happy mood. I score three
goals. I play for Manchester United. I’m a
millionaire. My eyes are brown. My hair is
brown too.

Mark S.

How I was
today is I do
not feel bad I feel
great and I picture
myself with me being
a star hockey player having
the most goals in the world
and has trillions of dollars
and has a mansion and
practice hockey for
as long as I want
and keep on playing
until I retire
and be
as the
best hockey
player ever.

Isaac T.

I think how I was
when times are under a leaf
my brown eyes are darker
than almond.

Despair will come but my
body is tough to break
my feet clamp me to
the ground.

The wind blows through
my dark hair. I feel
the freedom is

Self Portrait
Matthew Z.

I’m in my house I watch
TV sometimes I feel like
the wind the fears and
blows and it’s deep
in the heart
I feel very
weak some
I go but all the times it’s just me
I go in the wind turn the
wind up I feel so sweet
so strong I feel really
gazed I feel stunned
and really know
how but some
times I’m not
alone I feel
good when
I not
There’s company sometimes I feel
weak all the times I’m strong
blowing the weak out and
deserving I can be the
wind free wind free
flowing everywhere
glowing at night
and watching and
seeing the bright
light skies



“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.