Broken Souls


They are cast aside, rejected,
Longing for that day, dejected,
Harboring torment, desperate,
Illusions of normality.
Twisted, sick, corrupt captors,
Like a black hole, it sucks you in;
The environment, the elements, rhetoric,
Nontransparent and hidden from society.
To our families, once begotten,
But now only forgotten,
They are broken around him,
Fallen, one by one, again and again.
The sickness is in the air…
But he fights it!
His gas mask, the only person who’s always cared,
Fighting to persevere, detractors become irrelevant,
His chin high, his chest out, he is benevolent.
He remains headstrong, steadfast, and whole,
And will never fall as a broken soul…

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  1. ECS on November 9, 2020 at 5:08 PM

    What a powerful poem. I really like the image of “His gas mask, the only person who’s always cared.” You put your finger right on it: The people who care are what keep us able to breathe, keep us alive in all the toxicity. I will remember this image of the gas mask!

  2. Sabryn Ferchichi on November 10, 2020 at 4:18 PM


    I truly was captured by your raw emotion and strong descriptions, I really had a visual of someone struggling hard in their darkest moments where all feels lost. Strength isn’t something physical always, but a feeling and emotion! You illuminated that message through the closing, “he fights it!” This line really struck out to me. Fighting and to keep going for your soul. Thanks for the amazing read.

  3. JM on November 11, 2020 at 12:32 PM

    Dear AE,

    Thanks for sharing this poem. I really liked your use of rhyme throughout the poem, which really tied it together and made it almost musical. Your line about “illusions of normality” particularly resonated with me today, because so little is normal at this time and yet there are those who would want it to seem that way. I also enjoyed that this poem ended on such an uplifting note. It’s very hopeful and an image of courage. This poem made me hopeful that people can embody benevolence, steadfastness, strength, and wholeness even in an abnormal time! Thanks again for sharing.


  4. Natalie D. on November 11, 2020 at 2:00 PM

    Hey AE, this is such a powerful piece! I love the transition from writing about someone who has been beaten, forgotten, and at times is completely blanked from reality; but in the end knows that they are not to give up, they will simply kill things with kindness because they won’t allow theirselves to break. My favorite lines: “Fighting to preserve, detractors become irrelevant, His chin high, his chest out, he is benevolent.”

  5. Phuong Nguyen on November 11, 2020 at 2:54 PM

    The rhymes you have are extremely powerful, and the theme presented is also extremely impactful. Thank you for speaking on the traumatic feelings that you have experienced, and most importantly, keep pusing forward. Stay strong! I would love to hear more from you

  6. Nina on November 11, 2020 at 2:56 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this poem and recognized the slow transition you tried to make. I liked how you described a broken soul as something/someone that takes awhile to happen. This struck me because of your point of view, watching it happen to others yet remaining motivated to not let it happen to you. That is honorable and extremely brave, considering how your surroundings seem to tell you otherwise. I also really liked how you described this darkness seems to suck you in, like a black hole. This is powerful because it reiterates your strength and resilience. Despite the surroundings, the poem was uplifting by showing you coming out triumphant with you chin held high.

  7. Martina Merrill on November 11, 2020 at 3:02 PM

    You have such a beautiful way with words, you can see power and strength in what you have to say. The pain of feeling rejected from society can be felt in this work, my hope in this world is that one day we realize that no one deserves to be cast aside. That everyone one day, no matter if they are incarcerated, the color of their skin, who they love, will feel like they belong and are loved. No one deserves to feel like they are not a part of the world, you matter just as much as everyone else. The most beautiful thing about life is that even if you fall you can always build up again, like you said resilience will bring you forward. Continue to write, you can feel the emotions through your tone. You are a blessing to this world.

  8. kiana on November 11, 2020 at 3:28 PM


    The rhyming and rhythm that you have been able to incorporate into this piece is truly incredible. The way you shift from depicting struggle to resilience is crafted so eloquently! Please keep writing!

  9. ken on November 11, 2020 at 8:24 PM

    This is such a powerful poem. You did just a good job illustrating emotions in this poem. Very good job! Do not stop writing.

  10. Cy on November 12, 2020 at 5:42 PM

    this is very empowering and i love that there was a hopeful and encouraging tone in the end despite of the things that were said throughout the poem

  11. Anna on November 13, 2020 at 4:02 PM

    I really enjoyed your poem. The true pain of rejection is shown in the first half. The second half shows that there is hope and someone that cares for you. Thank you for sharing this with us. Keep up the good work

  12. kassidilenae on November 15, 2020 at 10:01 PM


    Thank you for taking the time to share this poem! I love the imagery you create. Fighting for joy in a painful environment can feel like war. Keep fighting! and keep writing!


  13. Cameron on November 16, 2020 at 10:40 AM

    This poem gives me both hope and courage. I love the imagery of “His gas mask, the only person who’s always cared,/ Fighting to persevere, detractors become irrelevant,/ His chin high, his chest out, he is benevolent.” Despite the pattern of the people around him being forgotten and rejected, we see this person still persevere through it all. He remains strong, which gives the reader the strength to get through their own sickness. Thank you for sharing this poem!


  14. Brittani Forman on November 17, 2020 at 8:18 PM

    Hi AE! Very powerful and intriguing poem. Love the word choice and flow

  15. LT on November 18, 2020 at 8:58 PM

    Your poem was both complex and simple enough to understand the many layers of emotions that were built within it. I am not sure if this was a poem written during the COVID-19 pandemic, but if it was, I think that the poem did a magnificent job on stating the emotions felt while being in an isolated place. The line that hit me the most was “Fighting to persevere, detractors become irrelevant” because it truly encapsulates one has despite hard times. Great poem AE!

    • LT on November 18, 2020 at 8:59 PM

      *the strength one has

  16. Gracie and Shaikhie on November 18, 2020 at 10:00 PM

    I think the diction was really well done, very illusory imagery. You can feel the sentiments packed into it. It felt very redemptive and triumphant. I think if the sentiment behind the gas mask is related to the pain in breathing, it can be brought out more. I think the transformation in the poem is interesting.

  17. Justin Lambert on November 20, 2020 at 4:09 AM

    I honestly cannot think of a more timely poem, thank you so much for sharing this. Too many times I have seen events play out exactly like this poem and it hurts, but I’m glad you had the courage to share

  18. Clifford on November 20, 2020 at 4:19 PM

    Very powerful piece of writing. The enjoyment I felt when reading your poem was immaculate.

  19. Beth on November 21, 2020 at 12:40 PM

    This was a very powerful piece. I really liked how in the beginning you talked about how the man has been beaten down by society and left to suffer invisibly, but as the poem progresses it transitions into him overcomming the loss of hope and staying stong and true to himself.

  20. aish on November 21, 2020 at 1:46 PM

    Loved this poem! The only life that confused me was “His gas mask, the only person who’s always cared,” is that in reference to him loving himself or someone else? I like to believe it is the character loving himself and believing in himself despite the doubts of others – makes the poem more powerful.

  21. Anneliese on November 21, 2020 at 8:25 PM

    AE, this poem is so powerful. I think you did an amazing job getting your message across to the reader, in order to truly make them feel something while they were reading.

  22. Jescie Roberts on November 24, 2020 at 3:55 PM

    Hey AE! I love the power and courage shown inside this poem. You have a beautiful way of showing words and rhyming patterns. The vulnerability and emotion of this poem is nice to see as the audience can dive into the story as the author. Keep on writing! 🙂

  23. Keegan Connolly on December 9, 2020 at 5:04 PM

    I really enjoyed your writing! The message is so strong and I was impressed by your rhyme scheme. I think it played well into what you were conveying and how you were doing it. I was also impressed with the overall writing and diction used. Great work!

  24. Keegan Connolly on December 9, 2020 at 5:07 PM

    I really enjoyed this poem! I was moved by your message and how strong your writing was. I was impressed by your rhyme scheme and how well it helped to convey your message. I was also impressed with your overall writing and diction. Great work!

  25. Joyce on January 7, 2021 at 6:00 PM

    Dear AE,

    This is a really vivid and powerful poem. It captures a lot of emotion, and uses wonderful vocabulary and imagery. It is very inspiring — you show the journey of feeling like a rejected, broken soul, to feeling strength and perseverance. This is motivating and I love the message that though people go through tough times and can be treated badly by others, they are resilient. Amazing work!


  26. Jordan on January 18, 2021 at 11:43 AM

    Hi AE,
    I just want you to know that I absolutely love your poem! The rich imagery and symbolism were beautiful. Even the title, ‘Broken Souls,’ caught my eye. The description of a soul being cast aside and facing loneliness was heartbreaking, but the symbolism of a gas mask as “the only person that cares” is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your work and I hope that you continue to write!

    Best wishes,

  27. Riti Kalra on January 18, 2021 at 7:23 PM

    The power in this poem!! The stylistic decisions such as the rhyme scheme really helped me as the reader understand and analyze the distinct messages you were getting at. I really appreciated the honesty and vulnerability you maintain in the poem and it takes a lot of courage to do that.

  28. Samantha on January 30, 2021 at 8:08 PM


    I really loved how you incorporated the conflict, and included a fighting motif, to then resolve it with a person who gets back up and doesn’t give up! In the midst of so much turmoil in our world now, this is very encouraging! Life may look bleak, but if we get up, and persevere, we can get through anything. Thank you so much for sharing your work with us!

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