Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Please write a poem about Identity - about who you really are!


  1. I kind of took a different take on the identity activity in class: my free-writing was more about who I am, and my poem was more about identity in general.

    Most people call me Danielle, but I have many other names. When my mother says it, a slight French accent comes through. My last name? Not so sure- they made a mistake on my father’s birth certificate. I’m twenty, but about twenty-one if you include womb time. About me: I dislike cilantro, the sound of seagulls, and loud typing in the library. I like the smoothness of avocados, the touch of waves, and the smell of toasted walnut tea. I’ve been here two years and I’m learning to love the rain. I’ve been here two years and I’m still deciding what to do. I want to be able to do something that I love. To be able to wake up on black-coffee, heavy-lidded days and still feel that nervous energy. I’m in science but sometimes I dream of art school. Sketching. Sculpting. Mostly painting. I’m not unsatisfied where I am. I’m thankful. Thankful because most people don’t get a chance to do what I’m doing now- no matter the copious amount of black-coffee, heavy-lidded mornings.

    A body, a vessel
    Pumping blood, living- I suppose
    I think oftentimes I take
    this pumping
    this coursing
    this moving inside me
    as an excuse.
    ‘This is how I am living,’
    I say,
    ‘This is why I am who I am.’
    But a body is a body
    And we all have brains, bones, and blood.
    And if this is living-
    Then we are all one.
    No, that is not what it means
    To wake up at six am
    And breathe the early air
    Drink the bitter coffee
    And step out beyond the front door.
    This thing inside,
    it keeps us moving,
    it forces us outside ourselves
    to be who we are, like- and unlike- each other.

    1. I've also dreamed of art school.

      I've never been much of a painter in art class, never though of art as my fortay.

      My creative only began to blossom when I discovered sculpting and ceramics. Something about it just made me happy. I would walk into the class and time would slow, everything else just faded away.

      But back to reality, I see that art school might not be my cup of tea. I've never experienced the type of schedule and structure art school has to offer. I've been given too much freedom in art during high school (and I do mean full freedom) that I've grown used to it too much.

      Right now, I'm still continuing to find myself and my place in the world.

      And thanks for sharing Danielle.

  2. People always say university is a journey in finding what would be best for oneself. But as much as university is a place for "soul searching", often times I find myself lost within the busyness of it all. The assignments, the projects, the midterms and exams; there isn't much time left for one to truly stop and discover who they are. I'm sure I'm not the only one going through stress and depression; in fact, I'm betting most of the people that I interact with are undergoing a lot of pain just like I am. I feel like university has been such a burden on me that I've lost who I really am.

    I am who I am.
    I am the girl that goes to school every day
    same routine
    over and over again
    as if what she did really mattered.

    I am who I am.
    I’m the girl that wished her dreams came true
    to be up on stage
    shining like the stars
    just like she would be in the showers

    I am who I am.
    I am the girl that wants to make her family proud
    so she puts a front up
    to be brave
    to be strong
    to be the girl her family thinks and wants her to be.

    I am who I am.
    I am the girl that wakes up in the middle of the night
    barely breathing
    because she can’t handle it anymore.

    I am who I am.
    Who am I?

    1. Hey Ashley,
      Your ideas about identity really speak to me. I think you have nailed it right on the head. It is so easy to feel lost and stressed in the busyness of university. I have this feeling all the time, and it is comforting to know that there are others out there experiencing the same thing.

  3. Hi Ashley,

    I really see the perspective you're coming from since I have that feeling most of the time too. Before, I had a pretty concrete assurance of who I was. Now in university, as I continually question and discover, I feel I've lost the person I once was. The question I've been asking myself: “Who am I?”

    usually results in comments like, “I don't know anymore.” and “Bother me later, I'm busy with life right now.”

    Maybe we're just adjusting to all these changes and activities in our environment right now, and sooner or later our inner self will catch up to our present self. Hopefully this will satisfy the need to discovery ourselves.

    I'm not sure if this comment makes sense anymore...late night revelations might become disconnected thoughts in the morning.

  4. I had a very different take on the word 'Identity'.

    I have to memorize
    all that lies in front of my eyes.
    A bunch of trig identity.
    Do you still not pity me?

    cos squared x
    plus sine squared x,
    is one.

    All the sines
    and cosines,
    make me think
    math is magnificent.

    cos squared x
    plus sine squared x,
    is one.

    But it is a lie
    math will make you die.
    Numbers, letters, shapes and symbols
    Make it look really simple

    cos squared x
    plus sine squared x,
    is one.

    Pity the life of an engineer.
    Work all day,
    with no play.
    Pity the life of an engineer

    Rohail Hassan

    1. Hi Rohall,

      I really like your poem! It's an interesting aspect of your identity to focus on and very different from the other poems being posted. Definitely true though. Awesome :)

    2. Embrace the life of an engineer!
      Maybe that's just me though, because I'm one of those people who love math, including trig identities.

      Love the poem though. It's very creative :D

      -Andrew Moon

  5. I believe identity is ever changing, shifting with the days, as an individual grows and changes. It may even shift from moment to moment, depending on who is around and the context of the situation. I believe with every new experience your identity changes a bit each time. Personally, as I made the transition away from home into a big city my identity changed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now after going home after a semester of being away at school I have noticed the change. Maybe it’s not a change at all, maybe it’s simply not noticing the characteristics until they are no longer the “norm”. At home in my small town, I saw myself as a friend, a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend and an athlete. At UBC I am part of the Kin family and part of Cariboo house. I am a country girl at heart, living my dreams in a big city. I am independent.

    To my parents I am a daughter
    To my brother I am a sister
    To my friend’s I am wild and carefree
    To me I am all of these things
    I am a UBC Kinner
    I am an athlete and a country girl
    I am a small town
    I am a big city
    I have no boundaries
    I am not burdened with ties
    I am independent
    I am me.

  6. Who am I?

    I believe that identity has a lot to do with what people decide to accept as a part of their thoughts and beliefs. Surely, the environment in which people are exposed to has a lot to do with their personal identity. However, just as one can choose to resist temptation to eat that delicious candy bar from Seven Eleven, I believe that people can choose which part of the environment they want to use to define themselves.

    My identity is not what culture, religion, family, or friends bestow upon me, but rather what mental filters I choose to implement as a part of my daily thought process.

    A poet is definitely not a part of my identity, but I tried an Haiku.

    Who are you and I?
    We screen what will define us.
    Like coffee filters.

    -Andrew Moon

  7. My poem on identity:

    I am bombarded by questions
    Who are you?
    Why are you here?
    What is your purpose?
    When will you start living your life?
    I ask myself
    How do I answer these questions?
    I don’t know who I am
    Or why I am here
    Or what my purpose is
    I can’t answer these questions
    There is so much I don’t know
    But I do know something
    I have started living my life
    Perhaps I will never know
    How to completely answer
    Those first three questions
    And perhaps that in itself is a part my identity
    Never knowing exactly who I am
    Or why I am here
    Or what my purpose is
    But grasping that despite
    All of the unknown
    I am living

  8. I look back
    Expecting you to be behind me.
    You wave, fading away in the distance.

    Who am I?

    I continue walking down this road of life,
    Unable to turn back and alter time.
    I continue walking,
    Looking for myself at every step.

    1. Hi jru!

      I really enjoyed your poem.
      It was short, yet detailed and beautiful.

      I also like the use of second person in the poem.
      It left me mysterious on if this reflects your past or just a share of your imagination.

      Thank you for sharing!

  9. We can’t choose where we come from but we can choose where we go from there.
    From a child till now I think I have changed who I am. We all grow and develop; it is in our nature but some characteristics stay within. I come from a country that is likely the opposite environment of Canada. The characteristics that most the citizens of China have are hardworking un-wealthy and street smart. If my family and I did not immigrate to Canada back in 1996 then I would too have grown up to that sort of identity. It is what differentiates me from the rest of the world. It is unique in my own way that no one will know jut by judging the book by its cover.
    Gene and environment interactions shape our identity. I have the genes of a Chinese identity, which is a lot from my Western culture identity. The Chinese identity is very cultural and traditional. There are proper ways to certain things. On the contrary, I have learned that the Western culture of Canada has a whole variety of different ways to approach situations or to not even deal with the situation at all. It is very “go with the flow”. I like how I can have best of both worlds of cultural identity. When I am around my friends I can be more Canadian like and when I am at home, I can be more traditional and learn more about my original culture. I did not choose to come from China but it turned out great because I did get to choose where I went from there and I am happy with the decision.

    Who I am
    Easily I can be identified as a girl
    Secondly I would be classified as Asian
    But they don’t know me
    They don’t know where I come from
    I have values that no one knows
    I have an identity that hasn’t been shared
    It is my business and not theirs
    I care
    How I represent myself
    How I show the world
    That my identity is important
    It is what I believe in
    It is my culture
    It is my life
    No one can see that easily in me

  10. What are we?
    We are what we determine ourselves to be
    We are what we eat, some might say.
    Or we are what we do each day
    But what we truly are
    Is defined by what we think.
    Not by IQ tests written in ink
    Not by school report cards mailed home
    But what we truly believe, we are when we were alone
    So what we are, what we do
    Can only really be decided by you

    1. Hello Hans!

      I found your poem very interesting and pleasant to read!

      There was one section of the poem that left me wondering,
      In the last two lines of the poem, are you trying to say that our true identity is effected by the people in our everyday-lives?

      If so, I completely agree. I've seen and experienced change due to the people in my environment.

      I enjoyed your poem!
      Keep it up.

  11. If you give me shape,
    you ruin my identity.
    I am constantly changing;
    a constant oscillation of matter.

    growing, moving, flowing

    Adapting to my surroundings;
    at times to blend in,
    at times to stand out.

    I am a storm;
    leaving parts of myself scattered,
    picking up new pieces as i go.

    Becoming connected to everything I touch,
    to all that touches me.

    Leaving behind but never forgetting,
    the past engraved within me,
    remembering what I've left.

    Following where the winds take me,
    but controlling my path when I wish.

    growing, moving, flowing

    Like an oscillation of matter,
    I am constantly changing.
    You ruin my identity,
    if you try to give me shape.

  12. Who am I?

    Standing tall in a large empty room
    Pondering life’s true meaning
    I try to find myself
    Slowly the room fills
    My beliefs, values, and artifacts
    Begin to drown out
    The sounds of my own thoughts
    As they are me
    My actions and my words

  13. Who am I?
    Would you care to know?
    I am who I am
    And I’m hoping to grow

    I’m not perfect now,
    Never will be
    But all through my life,
    I’ll always be me

    Take it or leave it
    Whatever you do
    I’ll be me
    You, be you.