The Depths of My Soul
by Anja Leuenberger

"Light it up so bright no matter how much
darkness is inside of you."

When one’s darkest secrets, lying dormant in the recesses of the soul, are willingly brought to the surface, it is an act of immense courage. A public figure with a budding modeling and acting career, Leuenberger uses her poetry to respond to the silence, both her own and the silence of millions who are victims of sexual assault. Raw and authentic, the words are the poet’s attempt at piecing together the remnants of the soul.

Becoming a model at age fourteen, Leuenberger has been in the limelight for half her life. From the first poem, “Trauma,” the visceral image of reliving the violent act is downright haunting, a testament to the poet’s desire to no longer take solace in silence. A strong command of poetic technique punctuates the strength of the poetry. Sensory details present in “Secrets,” where the speaker is screaming inside the soul, are combined with the repetition of certain words like “hate” to emphasize the stranglehold of such an experience.

While the words are undeniably forceful, the images are just as carefully depicted, telling their own story of shattering the silence and souls on the mend. Specifically, in “Cleansing,” the image of a perceived drowning where only the hands are above the surface, is particularly captivating. Where one sees drowning, it is just as possible to see a cleansing and an awakening, a representation of renewed life. Though Leuenberger’s work conveys pain, it is ultimately a collection of words meant to share grief, embrace one’s imperfections and hurt, and simply heal through self-love. Overall, each poem and illustration is worth marveling over as though it was a piece in the museum of healing. This is a must-read for all, but especially for those victims who feel their voice has been stifled.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home