Identity Crisis

By MC

Is the real me
Who I was or
What I’ve become?

Is the change in my life
A run from fright,
A cry for help or
A heavenly plight?

Envision my past,
Make a mental collage
It seems my life is a
Stagnated growth spurt

So much learned,
But such simple mistakes,
Like a mile run
In back pedal.

Am I the Dancing Monkey,
Or the Empowering Imp?

So much abuse
So much promise
Famous or infamous?
Which will rule?
Which will I choose?

Tagged with

86 Comments

  1. Cameron on February 15, 2021 at 12:52 PM

    MC,

    I really feel you with this poem, especially the first stanza: “Is the real me/ Who I was or/ What I’ve become?” We’re so used to getting comments about how much we’ve changed, but if we don’t change, then we don’t learn and grow. I also like how you started questioning the “why” behind the change in your life. I think that’s an interesting way to examine who you are and who you want to be. Additionally, I really like how you ended your poem. Despite examining the “why,” you still take charge of your life by presenting a choice. I think that’s very powerful—no matter what you’ve gone through, you can still make new choices over your life.

    -Cameron

  2. Maddie on February 17, 2021 at 12:49 PM

    MC – this is a beautifully written poem. I think that in many ways, although we all face different challenges these days, these feelings of self-reflection and questions regarding our identities are coming up more frequently as a result of increased isolation and time alone during the pandemic. The third stanza resonates with me especially as the pandemic has left me feeling very stuck where I am without as much room to grow as I would like to have this year. While I cannot know what you are going through, know that you are not alone in having these feelings. Stay strong, and best wishes!

  3. Derek on February 17, 2021 at 1:05 PM

    The questions spread throughout the poem prompted so much thought for me as a part of your audience. Keep pushing yourself and others to engage in introspection, it’s the only way for us to become one with ourselves. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Ayzhiana Basallo on February 18, 2021 at 6:49 PM

    I like your poem and the content within it. For me, I would dive deeper into it. Your poem is titled identity crisis and so I am assuming the poem is about you not knowing who you are anymore. I would maybe point out in a way, why you feel that your identity has been lost and why you feel like you do not know who you are or who you want to be.

  5. Allison Lary on February 19, 2021 at 3:09 AM

    This poem speaks volumes about how you have grown as a person. From your piece, I can tell that mistakes in your past have definitely taught you lessons and you have already grown from them. You have a beautiful voice in your poem and I can feel the emotion as I read. Great work! I wish you the best.

  6. Joyce on February 19, 2021 at 3:53 PM

    Dear MC,

    Thank you for this honest, vulnerable poem. I think that highlighting your past as well as your future potential and the uncertainty you’re feeling was a skilled way of emphasizing the choice you’re now facing. I like that you ask yourself questions multiple times, and that you know you have an important decision to make. You recognize that you have experienced hardships that you have hopefully overcome, and I hope you make the right choice. I think people will be able to relate to this, because many have faced difficult choices at various points in their life. We often doubt ourselves and make mistakes, but we all have promise and potential. Wishing you all the best.

    Sincerely,
    Joyce

  7. Sally Park on February 19, 2021 at 5:36 PM

    Hey MC I really enjoyed reading your poem and how you chose to address the questions/factors that individuals deal with when trying to figure out who they are. If I may, one thing I might consider is rephrasing the section with “So much… in back pedal” a bit differently? It was enjoyable to read either way, thank you so much!

  8. SLP on February 22, 2021 at 10:07 AM

    Your poem does a lovely job of conveying the various forces push-pulling you in different directions. I particularly like the notion of a mental collage. And the contrasting of Dancing Monkey with Empowering Imp skillfully depicts the way in which you are affected not only by your own choices but also by the actions of those around you. This poem almost feels like the last poem of a series, where earlier poems explore some of those forces. Your attitude in this poem suggests that as you explore each force, you would describe what you learn from setbacks, including where you have control and where you don’t. The series would have a cascading effect ending with the empowerment heralded in the current poem. And I suspect that (if you haven’t already written some of these poems) writing such a series would help you see that you may have started as a dancing monkey but that now you are definitely empowered and ready to live righteously in the world.

  9. Bhavin C Narotam on February 22, 2021 at 7:40 PM

    I really liked the message you convey in this piece. It can be very relatable anyone I feel.

  10. Courtney on February 23, 2021 at 12:34 AM

    Great poem MC! I love your choice of words. I am definitely left with a lot to ponder after reading this. Keep up the good work!

  11. Achal on February 23, 2021 at 12:27 PM

    This poem really made me think about who I was and how I wanted to define myself, but to myself and to other people and I thought it did a great job of highlighting that

  12. A on February 23, 2021 at 3:23 PM

    Whoa, this was amazing. A fitting title for a poem that described exactly what it is like to not know what you’re suppoesd to do or who you are. Really well done.

  13. Dennis Kang on February 24, 2021 at 1:54 AM

    Your poem is really great. Your poem has helped me realize that going through a huge change can be really difficult because you do not know what to expect. This line Is the change in my life “A run from fright, A cry for help or
    A heavenly plight?”, makes me realize that everyone is going to experience a major change in their lives.

  14. David on February 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM

    This resonates with me heavily as I had trouble dwelling on the past and fretting about the future. I believe that you perfectly depicted the struggle and battle we face when trying to find ourselves. Especially throughout the quarantine, I believe that this dialogue we have within ourselves is something that a lot of us have thought about. I believe overall this poem beautifully captures the collision of our thoughts and identity. Great job

  15. David Liu on February 24, 2021 at 2:33 PM

    Every day is another opportunity to change and grow as a person. Don’t let your past mistakes define you. Stay strong!

  16. AK on February 24, 2021 at 10:48 PM

    Hi MC! I loved the writing of your piece. The challenge of identity due to rapid change of pace in life is extremely relevant to today and this past year. Many have struggled with choosing how to be empowered rather than belittled by changes in their lives and your poem speaks to that very well. My only note would be why the phrase “Dancing Monkey”? How that particular word choice fits within the theme of your piece Other than that, your writing was very powerful and it was an inspiring read!

  17. Fabiola Vega Albino on February 24, 2021 at 11:15 PM

    I love this poem. It reflects our struggles with identity and how we perceive ourselves and I feel that this poem could serve well to struggling teenagers like me.

  18. Emily Bickel on February 24, 2021 at 11:46 PM

    Desr MC,
    This is a wonderful poem! I love the game of thrones reference! Maybe the only thing we can do to make it cleaner would be to consolidate stanza length? Otherwise – fantastic! It really is a choice.
    Emily

  19. Charese on February 25, 2021 at 2:38 AM

    Your poem is very engaging and attention grasping. It’s also very relatable, especially during confusing times such as right now during the pandemic. I particularly love the lines of “It seems my life is a Stagnated growth spurt”. I feel as though it truly encapsulates how growing up feels like. It’s a beautifully stated paradox.

  20. Leenda on February 25, 2021 at 10:18 PM

    Hi identity,

    I think this is a really interesting use of repetitive phrases to show so much power in the building up of ideas. I though the beginning was really striking because I do think about it sometimes if the changes in my life build on my identity or make me stray from the path that my identity was supposed to go. I am little curious if the empowering imp is a reference to something because I feel like imp is more of a negative term. But that could be your intention!

  21. Sophie Macklem-Johnson on February 26, 2021 at 9:07 PM

    I love the way that you express grappling with very deep and human struggles as you navigate your identity. I can feel your internal struggle with these questions such as, do we define ourselves by our best or worst parts? Who are we, really? Are we defined by our mistakes? How do we move on when we are haunted by the pain of our mistakes and our own wounds? I especially liked your line, “Famous or infamous?” As though within you there is both a superhero and a villain. I really appreciated how you showed these two sides throughout your poem, contrasting abuse with promise, two forces with opposing objectives, making a very complex individual. I can sense your anxiety about the future, which resonated with me. Thank you for your vulnerability, and for your beautiful poetry!

  22. Gisela on February 28, 2021 at 7:26 PM

    Hi MC,
    Your poem shows us all the doubts you have about your life right now. What will be the outcome of your journey? Which path will you choose? Only you will know the answer to your questions. However, I think that the answer to the first question in your poem: “is the real me who I was or what I’ve become?”, you will only be able to answer towards the end of your journey and it will all depend on how you answer the last question “which will I choose?” – Thank you, Gisela.

  23. Kiana Loo on March 1, 2021 at 3:31 PM

    MC,

    I can tell how deeply and intently you were thinking when writing this poem. I can completely relate to the kinds of questions that consume your mind, as well as the feelings/frustrations you share too. The amount of vulnerability and awareness it takes to be able to clearly express all of these swirling thoughts just goes to show how amazing of a writer you are! Please keep writing!

  24. Samantha on March 5, 2021 at 5:01 PM

    MC,

    Thank you for being so vulnerable and opening up to us in this way. Your questions are so valid and important, and I’m so glad you have used poetry to tackle them. I could feel the pain and questioning behind this poem so, so much. My favorite part of this poem was when you stated: “Is the change in my life, A run from fright, A cry for help or
    A heavenly plight?” This was written so beautifully and it was such a powerful moment for me that I had to pause and read it again. Thank you for writing this poem.

    Best,

    Samantha

  25. Maya S on March 6, 2021 at 11:10 AM

    MC,

    This first stanza of this poem really drew me in because I think it is such a poignant question! It made me wonder: how do we define ourselves, how do others define us, and what defines our truest sense of self? Our choices and actions or something deeper and intrinsic? I also liked the image of “a mile run/In back pedal.” Keep writing!

    Best,
    Maya

  26. Annabelle Teagen on March 6, 2021 at 12:37 PM

    Your poem is very inspiring and I connect with it as there have been many times in my life that I have felt the same things you felt here. Sometimes, I don’t know my real self.

  27. Brittani Forman on March 11, 2021 at 4:02 PM

    Dear MC, this is a nice poem with a reflective tone. It makes you question yourself, it evokes thought. I like it! The first stanza is a very thought provoking question

  28. Joseph M. on March 14, 2021 at 7:34 PM

    Dear MC,

    Thank you for sharing this poem. I enjoyed the way that you contrasted different elements of yourself, as well as different ways of looking at a person’s narrative. I thought the lines “stagnated growth spurt” and “a mile in back pedal” were clever ways of describing the way we can feel as if we’ve progressed but also as if, in some ways, we haven’t moved or even that we’ve regressed. Thank you for putting such powerful words to this and showing the ways in which, moving forward, we can choose which things we might believe about ourselves are most true. I hope you keep writing and sharing.

    Best,
    JM

  29. May on March 15, 2021 at 2:53 PM

    Hi MC,

    I can feel your self conflict about your identity and how your past has shaped you. I want to encourage you that you can shape your future and you are not labeled by your past. I hope that you feel empowered by your present decisions and I wish you the best!

  30. Veda on March 15, 2021 at 2:59 PM

    Incredible. I especially loved the third stanza. Often times, I forget that I have grown from my past so thank you for grounding me. For me, identity has always been entwined with human nature and I thought it was so amazing how you balanced that in your poem. The concept of “I” and “who I used to be” is so eloquently emphasized in this poem. The last two lines of the poem are just everything. I mean the chances and choices of identity, I believe, are some of the most daunting experiences in our life and you expressed it beautifully. The last stanza overall just truly changed my perspective on myself and the world. Thank you for that. Thank you for sharing this and for allowing me to read this. Thank you.

  31. jessica on March 20, 2021 at 12:00 PM

    Hi MC,
    Thank you so much for sharing your writing! I really think your poem represents the struggle with changing and evolving. I also really like your metaphor, rhetorically questioning whether you are the “Dancing Monkey, Or the Empowering Imp?” because I think it strongly juxtaposes how unsure the speaker is about their change in life, whether it is positive or negative. For sure keep writing though, it’s amazing to read and really makes me think!

  32. Dorie on March 20, 2021 at 12:07 PM

    You do a wonderful job of vividly describing your internal conflict. Additionally, the flow of the words is very pleasing to read and made me want to continue reading your poem. My only suggestion would to add more context. For example, without the context, the line “my life is a stagnated growth spurt” is not as impactful as it could be.

  33. Albert Ivory on March 21, 2021 at 6:30 PM

    Really relatable about the inevitability of how unpredictable our identity journey is. Love the selected contradictory metaphors that goes into how ironic everything is. Would love a sequel poem or a series to find out the rest of the journey.

  34. Joe Fargo on March 25, 2021 at 10:32 PM

    Dear MC,

    Thank you for sharing this poem. The questions you raise throughout this poem are incredibly thought-provoking, and the identity crisis you experience in your writing is real and powerful. Please continue to write, and I hope you are doing well.

    – Joe

  35. Grace on March 27, 2021 at 4:31 PM

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this poem and expressing these emotions. Life is hard sometimes and it can become overwhelming. Sometimes we feel as though we lose sight of who we are and who we want to become. We are learning every day! However, know that you are strong and there is a plan for you! I hope you continue to write poems for other people to enjoy!

  36. Emily on March 27, 2021 at 6:35 PM

    This was incredibly powerful. I believe that you are whatever you make the choice to be, you can write your own story.

  37. Torie Seagraves on March 29, 2021 at 1:45 PM

    This poem is absolutely beautiful.. The amount of reflection and contemplation of a painful transition in your life is very eye opening.

  38. EOS on March 29, 2021 at 2:59 PM

    Hi MC,

    Thank you for sharing! Who is the real me – who I was or what I’ve become? What a question! I think we spent the rest of our lives figuring it out! Because we’re always becoming and growing each and every day.

    Keep writing!
    – EOS

  39. Zach Phelps on March 30, 2021 at 12:33 PM

    I love the way you have played with the idea of identity in this poem, the beginning, “ Is the real me who I was or what I’ve become” because it allows someone to contemplate what makes them who they are. Is it where they are now or their past, or a combination of the two. I also love the stanzas having four lines, except for the second to last one. This made that line stand out and really emphasize your point! Great poem!

  40. James O'Reilly on March 30, 2021 at 5:30 PM

    Hello!

    I don’t actually have any criticism or the like for this poem, I adore this. Identity is such an important facet of our existence, and I can feel so much of this applying to my own questions with my identity. This is fantastic. Please, keep writing!

  41. Sawyer S on April 3, 2021 at 6:05 PM

    MC,
    Thank you for sharing your experience and poem with us! An identity crisis is something most can relate to, but I love that you ended the poem with a question, which will you choose? Such a powerful reminder that somethings are up to you, and when you take back the power and remind yourself of what is in your power, you’re unstoppable. I hope you continue to learn and grow and find strength in yourself, in all you’ve already accomplished, and all you will.

  42. AYDEN JOZWIK on April 4, 2021 at 7:16 PM

    A lot of the sentiments of self doubt resonated with me in how I sometimes wonder if I make decisions to be a good person or simply to avoid being a bad person. MC has clearly thought a lot about the decisions they’ve made in their life up to this point, but if the final line proves anything, it is that in a world where they have been stripped of their freedom they still are in control of the decisions they make from here on out. They lament making simple mistakes which have had life-changing consequences for them, but through it all they seem to at least at his point in time have been able to reflect on the past and learn from it. They regret the past but at the same time acknowledge that they have the power to make good decisions from this moment forth.

  43. maggie on April 4, 2021 at 8:40 PM

    This poem is so well written and leaves a very empowering message!

  44. Vera C on April 6, 2021 at 12:06 PM

    MC,

    This poem is so thought provoking and inspiring. I think the use of rhyme makes each line more powerful, and the capitalization in the 5th stanza made me pause. The questions in the last stanza also end the poem in a very sincere, powerful way.

  45. Elliot on April 6, 2021 at 12:53 PM

    There is so much meaning to this poem like how MC was able to sit back and think of all that happened in their life so far, what sacrifices they must make, what did they learn from this experience and what decisions changed their life forever.

  46. Lauren on April 6, 2021 at 10:24 PM

    I really enjoyed this poem. I think a lot of people struggle with their true identity and cannot let go of the past that they let define them. Life is all about growing and adapting to what events we encounter. We should choose to be the best version of ourselves.

  47. Nicole Burkoski on April 7, 2021 at 2:42 PM

    This was an extremely deep poem and I love the way MC is coming to terms with their identity while they are also left wondering. The questions of what their life has become shows a sense of contemplative choice. This poem opened my eyes to the feeling of misdirection one must feel when in prison. The line describing going backwards one mile is a very saddening realization of their current situation which shows the amount of bravery and honesty in this piece. I was extremely captivated by the questions MC was asking that it made me reflect on my own choices. Beginning the poem by asking the deepest question created a captivating introduction into the self-analyzing thoughts.

  48. Olivia on April 7, 2021 at 10:40 PM

    Wow, MC. This is such a powerful poem and I can tell that it is very personal, so thank you for sharing. Truthfully, I relate to some of your message quite a bit. After suffering a less than ideal childhood, I have often felt like I don’t know who I am anymore, as I am growing up and moving away from the ideals I grew up around. Something that I have learned with age is that you are not your past. Despite experiencing some of the bad things I have lived through and being surrounded by toxic ideas, I am my own person and I can decide from here who I want to be and what I want to do. You have the same opportunity. I hope that you continue growing, despite your past. If I am able to succeed despite my own trauma, then I know that you will be able to too. Again, thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed reading.

  49. Taylor T. on April 8, 2021 at 8:00 PM

    Hello MC,
    This is such a lovely and powerful poem. I think you have done an absolutely amazing job writing this. I can feel the power in your words as I read through it and I can also relate to this myself. I think you have such a great talent for writing poems and I hope you continue doing so. Thank you for sharing and best wishes.
    -T.T.

  50. Michelle on April 10, 2021 at 9:27 AM

    MC,
    Your question is one that we all ask at some point in our life. Are we defined by who we were, or who we want to be? With self awareness comes the power of choice. I love your poem and how real it is. It speaks to many people in many different situations. Take from your situation and grow.

  51. ken on April 12, 2021 at 9:54 PM

    This poem is truly powerful! you did such an amazing job showing how you felt. You had so many good rhetorical questions and it made it even more powerful! Keep up the amazing work!!

  52. Anna on April 16, 2021 at 1:21 PM

    Hey MC, I really enjoyed this poem!! It honestly made me think a lot about my life and question some of these questions you had for yourself. Keep up the awesome work!! Also, thank you for writing this piece!

  53. Emily H on April 16, 2021 at 6:21 PM

    Hi MC, my name is Emily and I attend college in Detroit. This website was brought to my attention through one of my English classes in which we are engaging in service and community outside of our school. I enjoyed your poem because at some point of life, we all go through an identity crisis. We all are trying to figure out who we are and where we are going. Your poem explains the feelings you are going through and ask if you are enough and am I actually changed from the person I used to be? You have created a picture of yourself and who you want to be. You know have to decide which is the right path to take. I am at a crossroads like this with my life right now too. Will I go to medical school or won’t I? Will I want to live where I’m living or would I like to move somewhere else? Your poem is very relatable and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. It made me ask questions about what I want within myself. I hope that you find yourself and the path you need to take. Everyone deserves a road that leads them to happiness and I hope that you can or have accomplished this. Good luck with your future decisions!

  54. Kate B on April 16, 2021 at 10:11 PM

    MC, I love the powerful emotion behind this poem. I too have felt like I lost myself and was unable to decipher who I was becoming from who I was. It is all apart of this journey and sometimes our choices feel wrong and we feel stuck. Your diction is powerful and your words have great substance behind them. Well done.

  55. Callie Cloran on April 19, 2021 at 1:36 PM

    Hi MC, Wow this is powerful! I can feel the conflict through your words. You do a great job at conveying the struggle and feelings. Keep up the good work!

  56. Gillian on April 19, 2021 at 8:48 PM

    Just at the title, this immediately stood out to me… going through my own sort of identity shift and I was struck by your words because I thought I had lost sight of myself, but looking at it in a different light I may just be simply growing into myself.

  57. Mae Harris on April 19, 2021 at 10:29 PM

    I really liked the contrast you use in this piece and at the end that you talk about choice. Whatever your path is in life, I hope that you have the opportunity to choose well no matter how big the choice is.

  58. Annie on April 20, 2021 at 8:44 PM

    I love this. The first paragraph is so relatable to anyone who has ever experienced growth and lessons learned (hopefully, everyone). You successfully convey a sense of being caught in the middle of an identity crisis.

    As with any kind of growth, there are growing pains – and it’s often hard or unpleasant to experience in the moment. Rooting for you to emerge from this better off than before.

  59. Keirstyn Johnson on April 21, 2021 at 7:29 PM

    I love your use of rhyming throughout the poem. Your strongest lines are those that are sentences, and I feel as though you bring your true point across more when you do so. I also enjoy how self aware you are!

  60. Nicole Nowicki on April 23, 2021 at 4:24 PM

    MC, this poem really resonated with me. I too am often stuck questioning who I am, and I saw a lot of my own thoughts being conveyed here. It made me feel less alone, and more like I’m on a journey that we all eventually venture on at some point. The only thing I would change to make it easier to read is the way you frame the stanzas. I think stanza three can be split up into two stanzas after the line “make a mental collage”. Other than that, I really enjoyed this poem. You did a really good job of capturing the mindset you were in, and how we’re constantly in a battle with ourselves over whether or not we’re actually good. Keep writing, this was awesome. I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

  61. Katie on April 28, 2021 at 11:54 AM

    Hello! My name is Katie and I came across your poem because I am enrolled in a class that aims to engage in the community and social conversations through various forms of writing. I took notice to your poem specifically because I feel that a loss of identity over time and determining who you really are is a struggle for a lot of people. I know personally from myself and those around me, this can be a day to day challenge. This topic is prominent in teenagers growing up struggling to decide what they want to do for the rest of their life. In your poem there is a very good variety of vocabulary that gets your vision across to the readers. I can tell that this topic means something to you, which I think helped your writing of it. Continue to write about things that mean something to you and you will succeed!

  62. Billie Marcheva on April 28, 2021 at 7:18 PM

    Hey MC,

    Your words are so relatable. It is impossible for a person to be just one thing, and labels and identities put so much pressure on us to be a certain way. I think that the last line – “which will I choose?” – is my favorite because I do think that a person chooses who they are, regardless of how others may see them. It’s much easier said than done, but others’ perceptions of you truly do not matter in the grand scheme of things, and I hope you will listen only to your gut when deciding how to identify yourself. Sending you love and good vibes.

  63. Emily H on April 30, 2021 at 12:55 AM

    Hi MC, my name is Emily and I attend school in Detroit. As part of one of my English classes, we are incorporating service and community into our studies. That is how I came across this website. I think you poem is short, but sweet. It is also very relatable to the fact that we all feel lost sometimes in our lives. We all come to a point where we don’t know who we are or what we want to be. For me, I have recently come to that point of my life. It has been difficult deciding what I want as a career and path in my future. It may take some time, but eventually I think everyone figures it out at least some what. We all may stumble and fall, but we will get back up. I think your poem does a great job at looking into the complications we go through. You ask great questions not only for yourself, but others. Thank you for sharing.

  64. Eunice on May 2, 2021 at 4:29 PM

    Dear MC,

    I really love your poem! The question of identity is one that I struggle with daily, and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts concerning this. Keep writing!

    Best,
    EOS

  65. Aracelli on May 2, 2021 at 11:17 PM

    Hi MC,

    I love all the contrasts being made here. Identity can be such a difficult thing to navigate. I think it’s important to remember that identity is fluid, and that we are always changing into different people. As long as we are trying to grow and improve in whatever ways we can, then I think that’s what matters.

  66. Grace Denno on May 4, 2021 at 1:40 PM

    I am a student in a community service course at Wayne State in Detroit whose goal is to engage with the community beyond the university. When I discovered Free Minds I was immediately thrilled to see the connections build around your writings and heart, and what you have to offer is a powerful and beautiful gift to the community. It was a true privilege getting the opportunity to read what is on your heart and mind, your desires and passions, thoughts, and struggles. You have so much to say, so much wisdom to give, and such deep experiences and desires to share with the community that people from all walks of life, backgrounds, beliefs, and ages can deeply connect with and affiliate with. Keep engaging with the community and making your voice heard. You bring healing, hope, and renewal of mind to many who have the privilege to share in your poetry. This poem alludes to the struggle in everyone’s minds and hearts. Thoughts like who am I, I feel like I have lost a part of myself, what am I doing here, how does who I was and what I have become connect. Thank you for putting all our thoughts into words, and clearly your own wrestlings into a poem that everyone can affiliate with and appreciate.

  67. Reilly on May 5, 2021 at 11:20 AM

    This poem is wonderfully written. While reading, it reminded me of when I have gone through identity crises, not knowing you I am. I could feel the frantic and questioning energy that comes with questioning yourself. You did a fantastic job with the poem and conveying these emotions. I hope you continue writing!

  68. Carly Reno on May 12, 2021 at 12:51 AM

    Hi MC,
    I love the work you did with this poem. I think that in most peoples, if not everyones, lifetime they go through an identity crisis. It is important to try new things to see what you like. As you grow up, your mind expands and matures. Soon some of the things that you really liked before, you won’t like at all. From trying new things and taking chances you learn from it. It is okay to make mistakes in life because that is also what helps you grow and mature. It is important also to not reflect a tremendous amount on mistakes in the past or things you wish you did differently. Without those experiences, you are closing yourself off from creating memories and growing. I hope you keep on making more poems and that you make your way through this phase of life! Maybe creating more works like this will help you! Thanks for sharing!
    Carly R

  69. Jarraed Allen on June 11, 2021 at 9:59 AM

    I liked how your poem was short but very deep at the same time. I could relate to this poem because those same thoughts and feelings be going through my head all the time. Maturing and becoming a better person by learning from your mistakes and making better decisions also being able to keep pushing and overcoming any obstacles that come your way is what I take from reading your poem. Peace and blessings.

  70. mothersofherutemple on August 9, 2021 at 12:44 PM

    In SELF- Deter- min(e) NATION- I wonder my choices their rules. What prevails? Self is so loud it never sleeps and confuses what is mine in a nation so toxically afraid of the me my mother dared to dream. I cry. I identify. I create the crisis after failing to see Isis, my mother’s dream from stares at my blackness. “Who Am I”, I shout and no one answers- I think. I can not hear over music and tv sabotage. No voices of magic in prayer bend my knees. But mother is there. She is mother of all. She dreamed of me before my fall and saw victory in my identity before she even new what I was to be called. She cried tears before me as did her mother before her knowing that her dreams for me would not be compromised spite pain of earthly plight! Truth to be remembered- Identity re-found, crying sisters all Zion bound with crisis defeated by hope-bound. I am more than self. I am that SUN she Crowned and Zion bound.

  71. Erick on August 19, 2021 at 10:32 AM

    MC- Identity can be a difficult topic, especially while debated between oneself and the mind. Your poem has described this feeling to me, as I have gone through identity conflicts in my life as well. The sense of bipolarity that you give, the “am I or am I not” questions that live on many people’s heads and defines the struggles of identity conflicts are questions that bring up the feeling while also carrying empowerment in every sentence.
    Remember, your identity is not defined by groups, it is defined by what you truly are, and what you love to be.
    I hope you keep creating this profound work on similar topics that let you free yourself. Thanks for sharing.

  72. Brigitte on August 19, 2021 at 10:39 AM

    Many times in my life I just don’t know who I am trying to be and what is something unique about me
    I feel like others influence what I do and what I say
    When you said the stuff about past mistakes and learning from them it reminded me of how life is about making mistakes and getting to grow from them to find who you are and what events shape your personality
    I go through like a change every 3 months so i feel very spontaneous and wish I could be more certain in asserting myself

  73. Al on October 17, 2021 at 5:28 PM

    Dear MC,
    Thank you sharing for your poem. It is expressed with true emotion and experiences. It was written so well and beautiful. Your thoughts were portrayed in a way to educated those on the experience of growing up.

  74. Dhara on October 17, 2021 at 6:26 PM

    Hi MC,
    This poem is really well written! The use of your powerful words and imagination shows how we can really relate to this. As we grow, we learn and change in a good way as we go through different experiences. That is the main way we can learn from the mistakes we make. Thank you so much for sharing!

  75. Divyaa Matta on October 18, 2021 at 10:45 PM

    I can really relate to this poem. Your identity is dynamic and for some people, really hard to define and stressful You bring hope to people like me who do not really know how they have grown and developed over the years. It is really important to self reflect on how our mindsets have changed.

  76. Chynel on November 4, 2021 at 12:29 PM

    I really like your poem! I especially love how you juxtapose the last two lines with “which will rule?” and “which will I choose?” It shows that you have the power to choose how you want to live your life and I think that’s very beautiful.

  77. Gabe on December 13, 2021 at 2:55 PM

    Dear MC,

    To start I would just like to say this poem really has powerful and interesting language, it made me think deeply about what you were saying. To explain I want to pick a few key words and phrases that impacted my reading. “It seems my life is a Stagnated growth spurt” this part of your poem seemed to stand out to me because usually people associated growth spurts with something positive but in the context of your writing it seems it a negative connotation. At first, I didn’t exactly understand what it meant until reading the poem over a few times. It seems to me that phrase meant that in your childhood and teenage years you were trying to figure out who you were. On your way of trying to figure out who you were you might have taken a couple of wrong turns. I may be overthinking the whole situation but that’s what that passage made me think. The other part that really stood out to me was the adjectives you use like envision, stagnated, and empower. It seems you’re taking a deep reflection to who you are as a person. Continue writing it has made an impact with me and I know it will for others.

    Sincerely, GR

  78. andrewrfretwell on March 30, 2022 at 8:51 PM

    MC,
    A lot going on here. I appreciate your use of paradox – inherent contradictions – like Heavenly plight, stagnated growth spurt, etc. Do you feel like that inherent contradiction is a major part of who you are? Many do. I appreciate you ending the poem with questions: ultimately these defining moments are not pre-determined, they are your choice.

  79. Kora on May 31, 2022 at 5:58 PM

    MC,
    This is a very vulnerable piece that prompts the human mind with many questions about does our past form our future? Can we implement change to be who we want? Can we overcome the challenges that seem to keep us held back so much? I resonate with this writing because right now I am very down on myself and keep making stupid little decisions. However, we choose who we are in our minds and actions. I hope through writing you may continue to express yourself and choose to overcome your personal obstacles.

  80. Kayla on October 24, 2022 at 11:19 PM

    I connect with this poem a lot. This situation is completely different, but i feel a connection with this. In high school I was a completely different person because of the amount of struggles i dealt with, but now in college I’ve been able to let go of some struggles so now I’m trying to find myself with out all that pressure on me. I’m finally free and can live the way I want and I don’t have a clue on how to live. I don’t knife if I should act the way I used or acted the way I want to or always have a filter on. Society puts a huge weight on your shoulders to be a perfect person, But what if you aren’t? What if people don’t like you or what if you don’t look like the person everyone expects. It’s so hard to be who you actually want to be, but also it’s empowering. I’m still working on getting to the point when I’m comfortable in my own skin, but I hope you have found yourself and that you’re confident in yourself!

  81. Julia Santosuosso on October 27, 2022 at 8:56 PM

    Your words rang very true to me on a personal level. As a freshman in college, my identity is something that I struggle with nearly daily. What do I wear to encompass how I want to be perceived? How do I wish to be perceived anyway? How do I perceive me? Do others’ perceptions of who I am really matter if I know who I am? But I don’t know who I am. Or at least I don’t feel like I do. And I am still in a constant battle of trying to answer that battle: Who am I? What am I destined for? It is a long and hard process, but I look forward to getting to know all of the versions of myself to ever exist and embrace them as I would someone I love. I hope that you are able to do the same. Thank you for your beautiful words :).

  82. Jill on December 4, 2022 at 5:44 PM

    The line that resonated with me the most was the first stanza “Is the real me Who I was or What I’ve become?” This part of the poem is the thought process of truly figuring out who you are as a person and what is your overall purpose in life. People often have a hard time trying to find out their overall identity and may face different obstacles on the way. Even though we may face obstacles, life is all about maturing and growing while also going through these changes in order to figure out who we are as people. Keep up the great poems!

  83. Jocelyn Patterson on February 8, 2023 at 1:14 PM

    I like how thought out your poem is. I think that you will always carry your past but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a different person for your future. You should always choose your future and learn from the past but not relive it. Everybody makes mistakes and it is what you learn and how you choose to grow from those mistakes that makes you a better person in the future. Just hang in there and remember what your goals are.

  84. Jazmyne on February 13, 2023 at 8:55 PM

    What I love about this poem is how vulnerable it is. Talking about the battle you have or being able to change or not is raw and real. I feel as though most of us can resonate with this battle. What I love is that we may not know your story but your words can speak volumes to individuals’ lives and choices. Thank you for sharing your poem with all of us to read. It was beautiful!

  85. PH on March 23, 2023 at 12:03 PM

    First of all, I love your title. Is the real me the past of who I chose to become and is it too late to change that? It’s interesting that you interpret the next lines is the change in my life a run from fright, a cry for help or a heavenly plight? God and his angels are helping you and calling for you at the same time MC. Yeah, you want to make a mental collage so you remember. It seems like my life is a stagnated growth spurt is extremely powerful. I can feel and relate to your next stanza. So much learned, but such simple mistakes, like a mile run, in back pedal. We learn so much in life and still have so much to learn yet we make easy mistakes like going backwards in time going the wrong direction and path. Are you the dancing Monkey like a clown or the Empowering Imp and what do you mean by Empowering Imp? The last stanza closes your poem nicely. So much abuse yet so much promise meaning potential and hope, will I be famous or not famous? Which will rule and decide? Which will I choose and become? Excellent job MC!

  86. Josie on October 24, 2023 at 3:14 PM

    I love the name of the poem. The name of the poem really pulls readers in and it’s amazing. You don’t know you are. Are you the person who you were or who you’ve become. AM I the dancing monkey is such a strong example of how you feel and how you’re struggling to find who you are after your mistakes. You are really the only one who is able to choose who you want to be and who you’ll become. Great poem and amazing wording.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The poets featured here are currently incarcerated, and many of them are in federal prisons far from home. Your feedback is a valuable source of motivation and connection to the outside community. Post your comments, feedback, and encouragement in the space below the poem. Messages will be passed on directly to the author. Comments may not appear immediately on the site, as our team processes them to mail to the poets.