Two other great poems for comparison and exploration are “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” by Tupac and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. I like doing this one after we have compared “The Rose That Grew” to “Identity” because it is a little more challenging, but they are already very familiar with one of the poems. Both deal with similar themes of decision making and taking the “less traveled” path. However, the differences are profound: Tupac’s rose did not choose where it was planted whereas Frost’s character does get to choose his path in life. However, both do choose their attitude. Teens will be draw to one or the other depending on their own life experiences (I’ve found). I love comparing these two because they are very different styles, but students always manage to find some similarities, especially with theme.
Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.