Rate this poem:4.5 / 4 votes

In Search of Self

In search of Self I looked into the mirror and saw two staring eyes
They glanced at me and threatened my demise
Informing me without speaking that I was not wise.

“The foolish man in searching sees only his reflection
He looks about him glancing, empty of detection
His search is foolish, childish, and so he finds dejection.”

Those whispers in my ears were soothing voices, pleading
That I should pause and bide their heeding
The voices of creation that are always kneading

In search of Self my ego came to rest
To pause a moment ‘fore that fearful quest
Giving warning I was being put to test.

A pilgrim must consider the roadblocks on The Way
He’ll often fall and stumble, may even cry out, “Nay!”
The journey has its perils, the battle is each day.

The journey may start early, at the very prime of life
The pilgrim may thus speculate that life indeed is rife
Not knowing that the journey is accomplished, full of strife.

From prime of life the Journey alters
Passing into midlife where the seeker often falters
Discovering that his ego falters as his psalters.

The ego to find comfort, must pay obedience to the soul
The journey’s not been flawless, having had its toll
Life’s highway has its obstacles, its treasure is the goal.

Now old age creeps upon us while Wisdom stays at bay
Meandering, the traveler begins to kneel and pray
How longer is the journey, where does that treasure lay?

From old age life transitions into yet another stage
It is a stage of silence, it is a numinous phase
It is the epilogue of life’s prologue, yet another age.

The pathways of the journey are not linear, rather round
Like waves in the ocean, like a booming echoing sound
Beckoning the worthy pilgrim
That life’s journey’s to become crowned.

A worthy royal traveler that finds the golden treasure
Must toil and yet not plunder, must know the goal is worth his measure
That the sacred golden treasure awaits his divine pleasure.

About this poem

The words of the ancient Greek aphorism “Know Thyself,” that point to the stages of one’s life and of life’s ultimate individuated destination, are transcribed in the pronaos of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Similarly, are the sentiments of Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage” immortal lines, uttered by Shakespeare’s character Jacques to Duke Senior in Act II, Scene VII of the play, As You Like It. The famous Greek aphorism and the immortal lines of Shakespeare’s character Jacques, have in many ways framed my intellectual thought processes since early childhood. So, too, in my professional life as an educator and a philosopher, have been the experiential pronouncements of Swiss analytical psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, concerning the teleological archetypal drive of humanity towards the accomplishment of Individuation or self-fulfillment that is motivated in the psyche of the individual, either consciously or unconsciously. Growing up as a student in Colonial Jamaica during the 1950’s, I thrived on many of the plays of the Bard of Avon, often reciting them while attending high school. During the latter years of my adulthood, and while in seminary school auditing classes, I became more intimately acquainted with the psalms of biblical King David, as well as the poetry and proverbs of biblical King Solomon. Towards the end of his own life, and reputed as a king of great wisdom and glory, Solomon sought to reorder the priorities of his life and, in humble confession as an old man, stated (in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14): “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing. Whether good or evil.” As a senior citizen, an octogenarian, this poem is a reflection on the intervening stages and passages that have occurred in my own life, then and now, as I, too, like Solomon, seek to reorder the priorities of my life by putting God first and foremost. 

Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Written on September 21, 2021

Submitted by karlcfolkes on September 21, 2021

Modified by karlcfolkes on July 29, 2022

1:51 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 1,964
Words 370
Stanzas 12
Stanza Lengths 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 3

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

39 fans

Discuss the poem "In Search of Self" with the community...

  • Dougla$Irishman
    Your poem does make us to reflect on ourselves. No man should think more highly of himself than he should but be humble and realize that God has given each one of us , a measure of faith ! Roman 12 ; 3 
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Soulwriter
    Wow. Very profound. Thanks for sharing your words with us
    LikeReply1 year ago


Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)


Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


"In Search of Self" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 May 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/110187/in-search-of-self>.

Become a member!

Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

May 2023

Poetry Contest

Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.

Browse Poetry.com


Are you a poetry master?

How many syllables an Iambic Pentameter line must have?
  • A. 20
  • B. 10
  • C. 12
  • D. 3