We all deserve to feel at home in our bodies. And if you haven’t been feeling that way recently, remind yourself of the power of self-love all without even using your own words. With the help of these five poems below, you can find inspiration to push back against the critical voice in your head and give your body the love and respect it deserves.
1. home body by Rupi Kaur
there are miracles in me
waiting their turn to happen
i am never giving up on myself
What miracles are resting inside of you right now? Mantras like the one above from Rupi Kaur’s book of poems home body are sweet reminders to keep going and never give up on yourself.
2. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Maya Angelou is known for her long backlist of famous words, but Still I Rise always takes the cake as one of her most empowering pieces. So on days when you need to rise above the negativity, this poem should be your go-to.
3. This Body by Stephanie Brummond
Every morning I make love to this body
I used to treat her like a suit of armor
I wake her up every morning
I play with her, stretch, push
I allow her new experiences
Fill every crevice with gratitude
I nourish her out of love
The latter half of this poem makes for great affirmations, so if this bit resonates with you, read the full thing here.
4. :: Searching for My Own Body :: by Yesenia Montilla
I am searching for my own body
not the one I was told is so
I want to be always open
like a canyon
Maybe I was only supposed to be
tree or temple
In some circles I am
just an open gate
a sinful bauble
Once someone said you are this
& I never questioned it
I am searching my own body
or someone like her—
Ever woke up and realized your identity wasn’t actually created by you but by society? Well, this poem by Yesenia Montilla pays a beautiful homage to this revelation and can give comfort to those on the journey to find themselves, too.
5. Apology to the Body by Lory Bedikian
I’m looking to cleanse regret. I want to give
you a balm for lesions, give you evening
primrose, milk thistle, turmeric, borage,
feet moving toward a language
of trees, hands deciphering sediment, steady
rhythm back in the pulse, the breathing you knew
before you were born. Believe me that we began
together and I will mend each sheath of myelin,
reverse the dark that grows behind my eyes.
Loving your body isn’t always easy, and there’s nothing wrong with apologizing to yourself and committing to do better. So take in these words by Lory Bedikian and consider how you can give back to your own body again.
Written by Reese Williams.
Reese is a full-time freelance copywriter and a part-time plant mom, cook, and thrift shop regular. When she’s not caring for her plant babies or cooking up a new dish she found on TikTok, you’ll usually find her online at fiverr.