Arguably, self-love is the mother of all personal development goals. 

Without it, humans tend to be miserable shells of themselves who plod through life in a fog of depression and displeasure.

It’s a remarkably unsatisfying way to live.

But when supported by self-love, we can care for ourselves and others, spread joy and compassion, and live up to our full potential.

Poems about loving yourself are an excellent reminder of how deserving you are of your own love. 

11 Compassionate Self-Love Poems To Focus on Yourself 

It’s OK to focus on yourself!

We’re not advocating on behalf of narcissism, but we are affirming that self-love is necessary and healthy. 

If you’re feeling a bit puny and need a pick-me-up, soak in these poems about the majesty and magic of self-love.

1. Love After Love by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

2. Myself by Edgar Guest

I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be for myself to know.
Always to look myself straight in the eye,
I don’t want to stand, with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I’ve done,
I want to go out with my head erect;
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and self
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know
That I’m bluster and bluff and empty show
I never can fool myself, and so
Whatever happens I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

3. I Am Complete Simply Because I Am Imperfect by Rupi Kaur

we think we are lost
while our fuller
found and complete selves
are somewhere in the future
we get on our hands and knees
thinking self-improvement will
help us reach them
but this finding ourselves bullshit
is never going to end
i’m tired of putting off living until
i have more information on who i am
i’m a new person every month
always becoming and unbecoming
only to become again
our fuller selves are not off in the future
they’re right here
in the only moment that exists
i don’t need fixing
i will be searching for answers my whole life
not because i’m a half-formed thing
but because i’m brilliant enough to keep growing
everything necessary to live a vivid life
already exists in me

4. My Darling by Nikita Gill

You are not small.
You are not unworthy.
You are not insignificant.
The universe wove you from a constellation,
just so atom, every fibre in you comes from
a different star.
Together, you are bound by stardust , altogether
spectacularly created by the energy of the
universe itself.
And that, my darling,
is the poetry of physics,
the poetry of you.

5. Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

6. I Know My Soul by Claude McKay

I plucked my soul out of its secret place,
And held it to the mirror of my eye,
To see it like a star against the sky,
A twitching body quivering in space,
A spark of passion shining on my face.
And I explored it to determine why
This awful key to my infinity
Conspires to rob me of sweet joy and grace.
And if the sign may not be fully read,
If I can comprehend but not control,
I need not gloom my days with futile dread,
Because I see a part and not the whole.
Contemplating the strange, I’m comforted
By this narcotic thought: I know my soul.

7. Envy by Mary Lamb

This rose-tree is not made to bear
The violet blue, nor lily fair,
   Nor the sweet mignionet:
And if this tree were discontent,
Or wished to change its natural bent,
   It all in vain would fret.
And should it fret, you would suppose
It ne’er had seen its own red rose,
   Nor after gentle shower
Had ever smelled its rose’s scent,
Or it could ne’er be discontent
   With its own pretty flower.
Like such a blind and senseless tree
As I’ve imagined this to be,
   All envious persons are:
With care and culture all may find
Some pretty flower in their own mind,
  Some talent that is rare.

8. Warrier by Rupi Kaur

i can’t take my eyes off of me
now that i see myself
i can’t take my mind off of me
can’t believe the tricks
my hands have been up to
the sermons i spoke into existence
the mountains i crushed
with my fingers
and the mountains i built
from all the shit
people tried to
stone me to death with


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9. The Poet and His Song by Paul Laurence Dunbar

A song is but a little thing,
And yet what joy it is to sing!
In hours of toil it gives me zest,
And when at eve I long for rest;
When cows come home along the bars,
And in the fold I hear the bell,
As Night, the shepherd, herds his stars,
I sing my song, and all is well.
There are no ears to hear my lays,
No lips to lift a word of praise;
But still, with faith unfaltering,
I live and laugh and love and sing.
What matters yon unheeding throng?
They cannot feel my spirit’s spell,
Since life is sweet and love is long,
I sing my song, and all is well.
My days are never days of ease;
I till my ground and prune my trees.
When ripened gold is all the plain,
I put my sickle to the grain.
I labor hard, and toil and sweat,
While others dream within the dell;
But even while my brow is wet,
I sing my song, and all is well.
Sometimes the sun, unkindly hot,
My garden makes a desert spot;
Sometimes a blight upon the tree
Takes all my fruit away from me;
And then with throes of bitter pain
Rebellious passions rise and swell;
But — life is more than fruit or grain,
And so I sing, and all is well.

10. Self by James Oppenheim

Once I freed myself of my duties to tasks and people and went down to the cleansing sea…
The air was like wine to my spirit,
The sky bathed my eyes with infinity,
The sun followed me, casting golden snares on the tide,
And the ocean—masses of molten surfaces, faintly gray-blue—sang to my
heart…
Then I found myself, all here in the body and brain, and all there on the shore:
Content to be myself: free, and strong, and enlarged:
Then I knew the depths of myself were the depths of space.
And all living beings were of those depths (my brothers and sisters)
And that by going inward and away from duties, cities, street-cars and
greetings,
I was dipping behind all surfaces, piercing cities and people,
And entering in and possessing them, more than a brother,
The surge of all life in them and in me…
So I swore I would be myself (there by the ocean)
And I swore I would cease to neglect myself, but would take myself as my mate,
Solemn marriage and deep: midnights of thought to be:
Long mornings of sacred communion, and twilights of talk,
Myself and I, long parted, clasping and married till death.

11. I Celebrate Myself by Walt Whitman

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the
same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.
Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

How You Can Use These Self-Love Poems

You can use poems about self-love in a few ways.

  • Contemplation: Take time to read through the poems. Afterward, journal about how they make you feel. Another option is sitting for an analytical meditation session on the themes. 
  • Copy Practice: Copying other authors’ writings is an excellent cognitive exercise. Not only does it help you become a better writer, but copy practice provides another way to connect with the words and sentiments explored in prose or poems. It’s a great way to extract and internalize meaning from the work. 
  • As Art: Does one of the poems resonate deeply with you? Then why not make it an art project? Design a poster of the poem using stencils or calligraphy. Paint a picture or draw a sketch that embodies the work’s essence. If dance is your art, choreograph something that conveys the poem’s sentiments.

We hope you enjoyed our collection of self-love poems. May they be an inspiration for you, the phenomenal person you are. 

Sure, you’ve made your mistakes, but so has everyone. Walk tall, stand proud, and know you’re enough — just as you are.



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