Inside: Coming of Age Poems
Growing up can be a confusing and emotional experience. I feel like this is a pretty widely known fact. We’ve all been through it, so there is a collective understanding of the woes that come along with learning to be a human.
One of the MOST turbulent times in a person’s life tends to happen during their teen-hood. When their hormones are high and their awkwardness is right there along with it, life can feel pretty extreme. Sometimes as adults, we have the luxury of forgetting what that’s like.
This definitely does not help us when it’s our turn to have kids and they grow up to be teens. But it was still a part of us, a part of our story. And although we may try to forget, connecting with ourselves during that time can be very eye-opening.
Poetry is such an awesome way to get right back into the thought patterns of our past selves. If we aren’t writing it, we can read other people’s poems and use them as a way to remember what it’s like to be in the process of growing up. We’ve all heard about coming-of-age stories, but there are coming-of-age POEMS as well.
And they are just as raw, hilarious, and insightful as they sound.
I’ve created a list of the best coming-of-age poems on the internet for you to look through. These are perfect if you are a parent looking to get in the mindset of being a teen, to better understand what it feels like to be going through what they are going through.
These are also perfect if you are a teen yourself. Sometimes it can feel so isolating and lonely to grow up, but by reading these you can get into the minds of people going through things that are similar to you. You are not alone!
So take a look at these, and I recommend having a box of tissues on hand. You’re either gonna be crying from laughing, or crying from the feelers. Either way, they are handy. Jump in!
Coming of Age Poem Examples
For this first list I put together, I included a good mix of different coming-of-age themes. There are so many different experiences held by kids growing up all around the world. The beauty of poetry is that anyone can do it, and so many people have that we are able to get a glimpse into not only one kind of experience, but hundreds if not thousands of them. Reading these will also allow you to feel empathetic for other people’s experiences.
There was a time when in late afternoon
The four-o’clocks would fold up at day’s close
Pink-white in prayer, and ’neath the floating moon
I lay with them in calm and sweet repose.
And in the open spaces I could sleep,
Half-naked to the shining worlds above;
Peace came with sleep and sleep was long and deep,
Gained without effort, sweet like early love.
But now no balm—nor drug nor weed nor wine—
Can bring true rest to cool my body’s fever,
Nor sweeten in my mouth the acid brine,
That salts my choicest drink and will forever.
2. My Future
They want me to be prepared
For the future that is near,
But the truth is I am scared
Because mine is unclear.
Now, I lay here in my bed,
My worries slowly eating me.
So many questions in my head
About how my future will be.
Will my dreams come true?
Will I find a house to call my own?
Will I find someone to turn to,
Or will I be forever alone?
These questions I ponder,
And so many more.
Yet, still, my heart grows fonder
To the mystery my future has in store.
See me cry
See the truth behind the lies
See me smile, see me laugh
See the flashbacks of my past
See my bad habits come to an end
See me leave footprints in the snow
See me wave hello and goodbye
I’m amazed to see everything new
Time flew by and left a mark
See me dance in the rain
See me ignore all types of pain
See me grow up and take on the world
See me now, I’m not a little girl
See me graduate high school
See me graduate college
See me wear my heart on my sleeve
See the people leave my side
See the people stay by me
See me start to make my dreams come true
See me speak what’s on my mind
See me help people, see me forget
See the next me.
I bet you thought I wouldn’t write anything like this.
See me prove you wrong.
I thought you might be surprised; you don’t know me then.
See me see you be shocked.
Mothers do not like
to see their boys grow up.
But there comes a time
when the emerging man
within the boy intrudes,
makes demands, and privacy
takes on urgency, and a new
courage asserts itself.
But when these fail to warn,
a boy has a right to baulk –
and those first acts of resistance
feel like a cutting off
from a source of love,
still strong in its needs,
but now felt differently –
at a distance rather than
near to her heart.
The changes happened gradually,
like a shadow creeping over the light of my innocence.
I don’t remember the exact moment it happened but
I remember how it felt to look in the mirror
and not recognize myself.
I once held all the promise of the world,
Living free as every child does.
I rode my bike up and down the street until
I was bathed in the glow of the streetlights,
blanketed under the velvet, star-laden sky.
I had no knowledge of the good and evil that
the world kept secret.
I did what I was told, never thinking
twice about what might happen if I chose
to fight back.
Coming of Age Poems For A Girl
Girls have a very unique experience in this world. So of course, I had to create a section just for them. Being a girl can be extra confusing during childhood and teen-hood. Finding your place in the world while also trying to navigate your bodily changes can prove to be one of the hardest things. Being a girl can also be such a wonderful experience.
We are powerful beyond measure, when properly watered. So take a look at these poems to get into the mindset of a girl going through her own coming of age story.
Who’s that girl?
She has bright eyes
Ambition erupting from her ears
The world is nothing but beautiful
Everything ugly is simply misunderstood
Naïve, free girl- I miss you
Who’s that girl?
Her eyes seem sad
She wants to sleep
And not be called upon
If the world would roll over
And never need her again
Maybe she’d get some rest
Tired, tattered girl- I’m so sorry
Who’s that girl?
Her face is a mystery
I don’t know what she wants
Or what would make her happy
I want to imagine she’s strong
Another beautiful piece of the world
Standing up to all the fear that would defeat her
Brave, new girl- I look forward to meeting you
Good morning, New Year, you king of time
What you have in store for me, I ignore
One thing I wish so much to know though:
Would I be here when you exit the door?
rosy cheeks and twilight eyes
vibrantly, she glows
from her pigtails spring
upon her sunhat bloom
flowers and vines
as the rainbow splits and unfolds upon her
in her fist
she tightly grips,
blues, yellows, pinks and greens
her very own rainbow in the squeeze of her hand
between, beyond, above and beneath
the lines, she swirls and goes
with innocent abandon not yet tainted
she loops and loops
content with disorder
while she can
let her run free
let the hues spill and colour the world
before the dull and dim greys
slowly but surely arise
show her radiance
so she may recognise His face
and turn back to it
in light of darkness
Look how she’s changed,
Look how she’s grown,
The personality changes
I should have known
The make up she wears,
Each day it gets thicker
Why is she doing this?
To grow up quicker?
The days she comes in
She runs to her room
Is it really possible,
Too feel so much gloom?
The tears in her eyes,
Her heart as it breaks
She will learn to realize
Her minor mistakes
I cuddle her in
I miss times like this
The young girl that smiled
My gorgeous ‘Little miss’
Now her dancing, and prancing
The games we did play
Her sorrow, it drifts memories
So many miles away
I call her down
As I do each time
To ask her to share with me
The troubles of her prime
The response was different
To the one I used to know
She stared up at me
She was beginning to let go
The stories she told
The rumours she’d heard
No wonder my princess
Had not said a word
The thing she said next
Opened my eyes
To a world I’d never known
A world of hurt and hated and lies
‘Mum’ she said
As the tales unfurled
‘This is the life,
Of a Teenage Girl’
10. Rupi Kaur
they convinced me
i only had a few good years left
before i was replaced by a girl younger than me
as though men yield power with age
but women grow into irrelevance
they can keep their lies
for i have just gotten started
i feel as though i just left the womb
my twenties are the warm-up
for what i’m really about to do
wait till you see me in my thirties
now that will be a proper introduction
to the nasty. wild. woman in me.
how can i leave before the party’s started
rehearsals begin at forty
i ripen with age
i do not come with an expiration date
for the main event
curtains up at fifty
let’s begin the show
11. Coming Of Age
I remember when you were a baby,
and I held you close.
I rocked you in my arms and told you
you’re what I love most.
I swore I’d never let you go,
and I’d always dry your tears, but my
promise to you got lost down through the years.
I always thought about you, and
I wondered how you were. The emptiness
I felt inside was raw and it hurt.
When i did see you again,
I was so surprised. You stood there
a young woman, right before my eyes.
You were so beautiful,
I could not believe,
That something as lovely as you,
could be a part of me.
I want to make it up to you,
All the time we lost.
I want you to know that I still love
You’re precious and you’re special,
to me you are my my world, and
though you the years have passed,
You’re still mommy’s little girl.
At the age of 5
I saw how we always pick the flower swelling with the most color.
The color distinguishes it from the rest, and tells us:
This flower should not be left behind.
But this does not happen in the case of colored girls.
Our color makes hands pull back, and we, left to grow alone,
stretching our petals to a dry sun.
At the age of 12
I blinked in the majesty of the color within myself,
blinded by the knowledge that a skinny black girl, a young brown teen,
has the power to light Los Angeles all night,
the radiance to heal all the scars left on this city’s pavement.
Why had this realization taken so long,
When color pulses in all that is beauty and painting and human?
You see, long ago, they told me
that snakes and spiders have spots and vibrant bodies if they are poisonous.
In other words, being of color meant danger, warning, ‘do not touch’.
At the age of 18.
13. When You Are Old
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And love your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you.
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars
–William Butler Yeats
14. TENDER YEARS
Over the green years,
all the days were always rose
wonder tender age…
15. Tell Tale Heart
‘i see’ said blind-man…
‘hammer and saw can hide truth…
and you…see with eyes’…
edgar allen poe…
he defined my teenage world…
…a midnight dreary…
what I mean is that when my grandmother
called to ask why I didn’t respond to her letter,
all I heard was, Why didn’t you
text me back? Why don’t you love me?
Poems About Teenage Years
Ah the teen years. I think the majority of us look back on our time as teens and wince at the memories of it. Cringy outfits, intence crushes, so many times you have to tell your mom, ‘it’s not a phase’. They definitely are not the glory years, but they do hold some gems. Take a look at this last section to revert back to your teen self, if only for a moment.
We learn from our mistakes,
From the wrong turns we take,
From the fake friends we make,
And from the times we almost break.
Our mistakes help us grow,
But at the time, we didn’t know.
We didn’t want our weakness to show.
At the time, we couldn’t let them know.
Our fake friends were there,
But they didn’t actually care
Our secrets they would share,
And now as we pass, they just stare.
Not breaking means you’re strong.
You’d know where you went wrong,
As if you weren’t waiting so long
To explain yourself, but stay strong.
So here’s to the liars and traitors,
All the wannabes and haters
And learning from our mistakes
And learning to spot the fakes.
Here’s to being a teen
Live it up, ’cause we’re living the dream.
18. Came From A Seed
I stand here in the field alone;
I’m a dandelion with no home.
The people never water me.
They say, “That’s no flower, just a weed.”
But underneath the “just a weed,”
I am still a life that came from a seed.
I am not that different from a rose or a daisy,
But still people will call me lazy.
America’s not where I’m supposed to be,
But people brought me here; I am not free.
You say I’m stupid, you say I’m dumb,
You poison me, so I feel numb.
I’m like a slave, no one cares.
I’m still a flower that’s everywhere.
If I were a rose, you’d hold me tight,
Bring me home, show me the light.
A rose has thorns, I don’t understand.
A rose is hurtful when held in a hand.
I have no thorns; I’m as soft as can be,
But you still hurt, poison, and step on me.
You brought me here years ago,
On big ships filled with cargo.
If you hated me so much, then why
Did you take me away so I could die?
I used to feel special; people used to care.
I was treated like other flowers, I was treated fair.
But in America, I’m sad, confused, and lonely.
All I ever wanted was someone to hold me,
But I guess I was wrong. I guess that’s not right.
Why hold a dandelion? A rose is a prettier sight.
Please remember that underneath the “just a weed”
I am still a flower…I still came from a seed.
This is for all those people
Who hide in the dark,
For those who feel hopeless,
For those with a broken heart.
This is for every child and teen
Who is trying to flee from their fears,
For those who cry themselves to sleep,
For those who drown in their tears.
This is for people who hide their scars
Upon their wrists and their thighs.
I want to remind each of you
There is a reason you’re alive.
You are here for a purpose;
You are needed in this place.
You are special, you are beautiful.
It doesn’t matter what size, gender, or race.
You are perfect just the way you are.
You are priceless, a wonderful new.
You are dearly treasured by many.
There is no one more important than you.
20. I Want To Be
I want to be your favorite hello,
And I want to be your hardest goodbye.
I want to be the one who never makes you cry,
The one who puts that sparkle in your eye.
I want to be the one you trust,
And I want to be the one you can tell all your secrets to.
I want to be the one always by your side,
The one you’re stuck to like glue.
I want to be the one who makes you happy,
And I want to be the one who makes you smile.
I want to be the one waiting for you as you’re walking down the aisle,
The one to whom you’d say, “For you, I’d walk a thousand miles.”
I want to be the one you truly love,
And I want to be the one who fills your heart.
I want to be the one who’s always there to hold you in the dark,
The one who loved you from the very start.
21. Just My Mask
Of course I’m fine, why do you ask?
Oh, don’t mind this, it’s just my mask.
It hides the grief, it hides the strife.
I wear this mask to escape the knife.
Don’t forget this, my pain is real.
I’m not lying, this is how I feel.
You sit there saying it can’t be true.
It is for me, just not for you.
You say my heart must be a sight,
Cold as ice and black as night.
It’s not my heart, only my soul,
But killing me must be your goal.
You’re getting close, I hope you know.
You really don’t have far to go.
Soon enough I’ll reach my end.
You’ll have my soul to tear and rend.
-Troy Dayln Bunker
22. School Life
School is a daily routine for us.
In the morning, we’re sure to make a fuss.
Even when the sun is still not up,
Here we are, awake at 6am sharp.
We feel that school is such a bore.
We feel that school is such a chore.
Parents say, “School’s great! Now, go!”
We say, “Well, what do you know?”
Late a minute and we have to run.
Eyes half open, shoelaces undone.
We reach school and we see our friends.
Immediately, the torture ends.
We have a chat and go with the flow.
Then the bell rings; it is time to go.
We may at times find school stressful.
To have some fun, we have to bend some rules.
I get laughed at,
I get ignored,
I often feel trapped,
and I keep my thoughts stored.
People can be cruel and very mean,
but no matter what,
I follow my dreams.
Life has waves;
I know that.
But I stand brave
and just take the crap.
I may feel exhausted and totally creamed,
but no matter what,
I follow my dreams.
I know what I want,
and I won’t stop trying.
Quitting? I can’t,
for now I’m flying.
It’s impossible it seems,
but no matter what,
I follow my dreams…
More Poem Ideas You’ll Love
21+ Adorable Poems For Your Crush – If you connected with these coming-of-age poems, then why not follow it up with these ones about having a crush! I figure it goes with the theme, and even further. Since you can have a crush at any age in your life. Check them out to get in your feels!
- 43 Breakup Poems to Turn Your Sadness Into Laughter – Sometimes, the most powerful poems are about the hardest things. Break-up poems are no exception to this rule. Here is a list of 43 Break Up Poems that will help you go from tears to laughter. You got this!
- 17+ Famous Purple Poems – Poems can be written about anything…even colors. In fact, color poems are some of my favorite kinds! Take a look at these famous poems about the color purple. When you are done you will find that you have a newfound appreciation for this royal color.