Self-portraits with words @ Peterson 7th Grade

The other week at Peterson 7th Grade, we read “self-portrait with dirty hair” by Safia Elhillo, a Sudanese-American poet from Maryland. As a class, we talked about what makes a self-portrait and how we often view ourselves differently than the way others perceive us.

Students wrote their own self-portrait poems as they reflected on all of the qualities that make a person unique. In addition, we talked about prose poetry and how this medium differs from other poems we’ve read so far.

Mrs. Ionita
2nd Period

Self-Portrait with a Big Nose
Nicholas A.

My nose is big Just like Pinocchio.
It’s so large it reaches down to Tokyo.

Long hair
Santiago M.

My hair is long my dad and my
uncle who passed away had it
long but why can’t I Mom
says I can’t have it long
because it’s too much what
is too much my hair grows
and I like it that way in the
mornings my hair is a town
that a tornado hit but
I don’t
care my mom wants it short
and I want it long so I
keep it that way until it’s
the sad day when my hair
dies and I got to cut my hair

Is it Wrong…my height!
Abby P.

Sometimes there is a doubt in my head
It’s like Isabelle’s bees but differently
I have more than just one thought
racing though my head that it burns
Lots of people say you look like the same
since you were 7 and that always
gets to me. I think an think
but then I realize that they mean
you’re small. you’ll never fit in, you’re short
stop trying, go to the doctor, get a growth
spurt…life always gets to me but why?
Was can I do? I still feel the same
I’m sorry people that you think I’m
a shame…

Maizy P.

My hair is curly, and brown
Mom says it is nice, and pretty,
but she says that about all of
me. I like it, sure, but wearing
it down can make me insecure.

Unsatisfied Hair
Calvyana W.

Taking down my braids after 3
weeks I wash it bow dry it then flat
iron still nothing. trying to keep it down
put it in a ponytail even a bun nothing it’s
way different from everyone else I can’t take
THIS so I run to my mom still nothing so I
leave it no bother then I hear my mom on the
phone trying to get someone more experienced to do
My hair but NO


Mrs. Ionita
3rd Period


Abdul A.

Getting this height is a gift
people say omg you are so tall
or omg how are you in 7th
Grade with my height I just
want to hop around like a


self-portrait of my mind
Axel B.

when people look at me they do not see
my mind constantly flowing like a rive fl-
-owing freely throughout the season however
they can clearly see my energetic attitude
that is as rowdy as an erupting volcano
my uniqueness is hidden in the public kept lock-
-ed away like a soul that’s trapped in hell.


Micah M.

If you are in my imagination, my brain, would you know
what’s going on? could you find your way ut? My brother
calls me creepy because I like explosions, but, they are
right. I would stare at nothing thinking there’s an
explosion or detonation outside of the school. nobody really asks
me but, I ask myself, are you okay? with this type
of thinking, would your life change? I’m not scared
of myself. I marvel art the detonation. I like Dinosaurs,
Star Wars, and legos. Do you know what a + 47 airspeeder is?


self-portraits with my loose hijab
Noora S.

Trying to fix my hijab i hear people
scream your hair is SHOWING! even my
mother screams at me but I don’t listen
i wish to shout back at them but won’t
because i like to respect others even if
they don’t respect me I feel my hair
sticking out but it’s hard to keep the hair
in sometimes i get confused on why they care


Grayson T.

They all say that I am annoying but
I don’t believe them. In fact they
are the annoying ones. And besides,
who decides that annoying is bad. Why
isn’t annoying the biggest compliment
in the world. Can we have a revolution on
words. Please! But until then, I am
not annoying. You are though.


Mrs. Ionita
4th Period

Lillian A.

I don’t like my
hair straight, because
it is too thick.
Some people
say it is nice, but
I personally get really
bothered. If I
were to put my
hair up, so much
of it would be
sticking out. Sometimes
I curl it, but it irritates
me, so there I am nonstop
brushing it out.


Adam Really Random
Adam D.

Trying to get rid of me being really
random one second I’m talking about
something te next Im doing a hand
stand. I hear my head telling
me to stop but I just can’t.
I’m living in my imagination.
Swimming in the clouds like a
dolphin in the ocean. Lets Just
try to get out of the clouds
and Into the real world


My Hair
Caitlin H.

trying to comb my
hair I hear my
dad say your hair
is messy, you, need
to care for it
better while my
knows break apart
piece by piece.


Yasmin N.

Assortment of bumps on my forehead
growing rapidly every second.
I try to pop those horrifying pimples
but they end up sticking like cement on the ground.
They grow rapidly like an epidemic disease.
Ointment and cream does not help.
It burns and hurts
And my mom can’t keep her hands off of my


Michelle S.

trying t be louder everyone says
why are you only loud with your
friends why because i can participate
more my parents say I’m trying
can’t you see it’s not my fault i’m
quiet i may not be shy later
on in my life sure like
i’ll try can you speak
up maybe if i can get a
microphone i may never stop
being quiet but my personality is l
loud that you can read







“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.