Ellie asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 8 years ago

poems about identity and the self?

i need poems for my poetry anthology project in english! the thematic thread im tying all of them together with is the idea of identity and the self - the search for it and the statement of it, both are fine. whether it's a racial identity, a collective identity or singular, whatever. poems about the american identity. anything about identity and the self.


oh but 16 of the 20 poems have to be from a specific list of authors. those are:

Francisco Alarcon

Maya Angelou

Gloria Anzaldua

Matthew Arnold

Jane Austen

Anne Bradstreet

Gwendolyn Brooks

Elizabeth Browning

Charles Bukowski

Countee Cullen

Emily Dickinson

John Donne

John Dryden

Carol Ann Duffy

T.S. Eliot

Robert Frost

Allen Ginsberg

Langston Hughes

Alexander Johnson

Samuel Johnson

John Keats

Jack Kerouac

Francis Scott Key

Rudyard Kipling

Richard Lovelace

Richard MacWilliam

Claude McKay

Pablo Neruda

Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy

Wilfred Owen

The Apostle Paul

Sylvia Plath

Edgar Allen Poe

Alexander Pope

Ezra Pound

Christina Rossetti

William Shakespeare

Percy Shelley

Edmund Spenser

Luci Tapahonso

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Phyllis Wheatley

William Carlos Williams

William Wordsworth

William Butler Yeats

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    William Shakespeare has the soliloquy of Hamlet and his musings about the self, which is in blank verse, but is in effect, a poem:

    To be, or not to be, that is the question.

    Whether tis' nobler in the mind to suffer

    The slings and the arrows of outrageous fortune,

    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

    and by opposing end them, to die, to sleep,

    No more; and by a sleep we say we end,

    The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks

    Devoutly to be wished, to die, to sleep

    To sleep: perchance to dream: aye, there's the rub;

    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,

    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

    Must give us pause: there's the respect

    That makes calamity of so long life

    There's also a poet that's not on your list who wrote a poem about the self and how it doesn't actually exist. It's called "Antigonish" by American educator and poet Hughes Mearns. It is also known as "The Little Man Who Wasn't There", and was a hit song under that title. The stairs has some psychological meaning and the man in the first stanza changing to a "little" man has some metaphorical meaning, too, as well as the entire poem, but I don't know what they are.

    Yesterday, upon the stair,

    I met a man who wasn’t there

    He wasn’t there again today

    I wish, I wish he’d go away...

    When I came home last night at three

    The man was waiting there for me

    But when I looked around the hall

    I couldn’t see him there at all!

    Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!

    Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

    Last night I saw upon the stair

    A little man who wasn’t there

    He wasn’t there again today

    Oh, how I wish he’d go away

  • 8 years ago

    Charles Bukowski "question and answer"

    It's online and from the book "The Last Night Of The Earth"

    Usually I'm kind of put off by the "poor-me I'm famous" theme but Bukowski makes it work.

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