30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu banner
bashful, timid, quiet. shy

If anyone you know has used these terms to describe you, you’re probably a bit shy. Everyone feels that way once in a while. Shyness and social anxiety are common, no matter how old you are.

There is one myth about social anxiety and social anxiety disorder that I would like to dispel. The myth says that social anxiety is just exaggerated shyness. This myth encourages the idea that anxious people are merely weak-willed pushovers. It is partially because of this myth, I think, that well-intentioned people offer the relevant but insensitive and patronizing advice like, “Don’t worry about it!”, “Just do it” and “Face your fears.” 

Thinking on all these, I wrote this poem:


when a shy person speaks,

it’s like music from guitar strings.
when a shy person smiles,
it’s like the sun coming out
when a shy person steps out
it’s like the uncommon visit of gods
when a shy person reclines
it feels like moon eloped from night
when a shy person is ‘i’
do not curve the letter into ‘u’

Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachi Anyatonwu is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachi is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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