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Student Poetry Corner - In the Room With All of My Past Selves

By Catherine Desiderio, Senior English Major


The Delphian has introduced this poetry section so students may submit their original poems to be considered for publication. Submit poems up to 250 words to delphian@adelphi.edu and elizabethpanchyk@mail.adelphi.edu.


“In the Room With All of My Past Selves” is the titular poem in my poetry collection for my senior honors thesis project. This poem is the last in the collection, and I see it as a culmination of the lessons that I have learned in terms of conquering my fears—and ultimately, overcoming my fear of existing fully as myself. I wrote this poem while considering the concept of healing and what it means to me.

I was thinking about how I used to be afraid to catch fireflies, and then I created a metaphor about light: how difficult it is to capture your own light and share it with the world. In this poem, and many others, I am writing to younger versions of myself. Somewhere in history, there is the shy, insecure girl hiding away, afraid to share her voice and show her true colors.

To anyone who reads this poem, I hope that you find your inner light. This is a reminder never to dim yourself. In other words: Exist loudly.


I am the only body

among the little bulbs of light.

When I was small,

I was scared to catch fireflies

slowly crossing my field of vision at night.

I think that I hated to see something

light up in my hands, an insect

with a life outside of my control.

The fireflies blinking green and yellow,

landing in the eight-o-clock evening.

The workings of the Earth are fascinating.

For once in my life, I am unafraid.

The people that I used to be do not fight,

just sit and wonder what strings them together.

And how I used to fade

for different faces and places,

shrinking to fit a space unintended for me.

I am learning the language that my past selves speak.

I remind them that stars do not feel remorse for who they may blind.

They simply stand and illumine.

So it is in this room that I promise those younger girls:

I will never dim myself for anybody again.


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