A self-portrait poem focuses on the poet's perception of himself and expresses this view in a lyrical form. The poem could take on any form from a sonnet to a haiku or even a limerick. The reader gets a glimpse of the poet's likeness through the self-portrait poem.
- Familiarize yourself with other self-portrait poems
Read and absorb other poets who have expressed themselves in this genre. This is key to understanding this format. Self-portrait poems have been written by poets like Robert Frost in "The Road Not Taken" and Lord Byron in "When We Two Parted."
- Write down reflections about yourself
Once you're more familiar with the genre, spend some time reflecting about yourself, including your personality, your likes and dislikes, your formative years, your biggest influences and your physical attributes. Write down what comes to mind as a free-writing exercise.
- Write an initial draft
Choose a poem format, such as a sonnet, and spontaneously write down lines, using your notes from the self-discovery exercise. Do not edit yourself, but give yourself license to write uninhibited within the format you've picked. After the initial draft, think of metaphors and similes that you can associate with certain aspects about yourself.
- Revise your poem
Read your poem aloud and revise it. Delete redundancies and rework lines so that the fewest number of words are used to deliver the biggest impact.