The Paris Review

Poetry Rx: Poor Deluded Human, You Seek My Heart

In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Kaveh Akbar is on the line.

© Ellis Rosen

Dear Poets, 

I am the daughter of two wonderful, loving Chinese parents, and I have a supportive boyfriend and caring friends. But still, I somehow find myself dealing with daily feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. I am a humanities major with an uncertain future and less-than-average academics, and I am faced with continual feelings of shame and embarrassment about the lack of effort I put into my studies. My parents are intellectual giants who came from nothing and worked their way up into high-earning jobs so that they could give me the best possible education and life, and I feel as if I have squandered the opportunities they have worked so hard for me to

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