Young woman holding emotive masks


Who am I
Asking the stranger seen directly across from me in the mirror
Who am I
Thinking to myself while sitting at the dinner table surrounded by people I hardly recognize anymore

Feeling the need to conform to society and its expectations
But don’t be fooled
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
I wear a mask, a mask I’m afraid to take off in fear of judgment

Jealousy is like a constant scream, and I’m crying for help
Sitting on a park bench, watching, envying all of humanity
Why must they be so real, so genuine, so… concrete

In restless dreams I walked alone
Striving to change
Ready to give anything to just be myself again
But…what if they don’t like me

Take off your mask, one part of me says
I’m worth something
I don’t want to hide anymore
I’m intuitive, spontaneous

They’ve liked me so far
So what if it’s a lie
I’m content with myself
So, in the end, the mask stays on.


“Masks,” written by Hanna Hosseinzadeh is a free versed poem focusing primarily on the theme of Identity. Answering the inquiry question “Why do people feel the need to conform to society and its expectations,” Hanna talks about her life being a lie, how she constantly has to put on a mask that she’s “afraid to take off in fear of judgement.” The main idea of this poem is simply, “being yourself,” Hanna feels as if not only she, but most of our society today struggles with holding one personality around everyone and showcasing who you are, we are so afraid of being judged that we find ourselves conforming to our surroundings’ needs…their desires, whatever they want us to be, we are at their service. She refers her poem to the clip “The Mask You Live In” by Miss Representation, it ties in perfectly with the whole poem, specifically the line “I don’t want to hide anymore.” The message the writer is trying to put out is no matter how hard we try to start fresh, we can’t. Fear takes over and freezes our whole body, the world has accepted you so far and it might not be too welcoming to the “real” you, the one that you’ve been hiding behind that mask.



One thought on ““Masks” – Hanna Hosseinzadeh”

  1. Hanna – you explored a great theme and inquiry question. The ending is a bit sad, however. The pressure to keep the mask on is strong. A well-written rationale and I like the video you created to complement your poem.

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