woman reading a book

4 Poems for Sensitive Souls

It’s no secret that poetry can evoke strong emotions in readers. In fact, the connection between poetry and emotions has been studied by scientists time and time again. While we can’t always put a finger on why a poem makes us feel something, we can embrace that feeling and use poetry as a tool to become more in touch with it. Sometimes, hearing the voice of the author can bring us even closer. So, we’ve selected four poems for sensitive souls to encourage and embrace a connection between writing and feeling. 


“A Letter to the Playground Bully from Andrea, Age 8 ¾” by Andrea Gibson


Poet and activist Andrea Gibson is known for their powerful work focusing on gender norms, politics, social reform, and LGBTQ+ issues. This live performance of their poem “A Letter to the Playground Bully from Andrea, Age 8 ¾” is a wonderful reminder to heal and stick up for our inner child. 



My mother says it is totally fine if I blow off steam

as long I speak in an octave my kindness can still reach

My kindness knows mermaids never-ever miss their legs in the water

because there are better ways to move through an ocean than kicking.


“Know” by Tarriona Ball


Tarriona Ball released her debut collection, Vulnerable AF, in June 2021. The poem, “Know” succinctly captures how it can feel to be misunderstood. Ball reads this poem and several others from the collection accompanied by guitarist Norman Spence in this moving performance



I once heard someone say if you read Tarriona’s poetry

You will know that she has never been in love

I wonder if they listened closely

They would know… 

That I wanted to be


“The Secret Life of Teachers” by Brandon Leake


Released in February 2022, Unraveling is Brandon Leake’s debut collection. This powerful recorded performance of his poem “The Secret Life of Teachers” gives his perspective and reflections on school shootings. As a former teacher, Leake recalls returning to the classroom after nearly two years of remote learning, and later participating in active shooter training programs. 



. . . and speak up for the students who are seen on the fringe of our broken schools

to let them know that they are not alone

for we are all broken people

trying to find a place where our splintered edges fit best

and every morning I fall on my knees and I pray to God

asking Jesus that my students and I survive today… 


“Where are you really from?” by Avan Jogia


Actor, poet, and performer Avan Jogia explores complex emotions around race, identity, religion, and family in his debut collection, Mixed Feelings. In this recorded performance of “Where are you really from?” Jogia draws on his talents as a performer to add new dimensions to this poem. 



My grandfather’s hands are strong

They work tirelessly fixing your watches

My grandfather’s hands are strong

His immigrant hands will always be fixing your watches

He sits repairing your time, past or present, short or long

My grandfathers fingers are strong 

and they’ll always be fixing your watches