Words of Resilience- Henrik Leifsson

About the Author:

Henrik Leifsson is a 28 year old engineer. He started to stutter around eight years old and regained fluent speech around 22 years old. A chronic blood disorder was discovered around 18 years old. I regained okay health around 21 years old. Today I’m able to live with fluent speech. I am able to say my name, give presentations, pick up phone calls and do work interviews. Things that would have been a varying degree of impossible before.Problem solving, of any kind, is my passion and there is nothing that cannot be addressed when properly understood. For the future I wish to share more of my perspective and my understanding of stuttering. 

Stuttering is the handicap of a device broken,
Stuttering makes us cry,
Without being able to tell you why,
Only in a fit of rage,
May we temporarily break out of our cage,
Oh how many times we’ve kept silent and failed,
Fearing our disability being unveiled,
Wishing for acceptance through silence muted,
To sever ties to self and place our belief in mind rooted,
As god is witness we know our names,
Even if stuttering behavior our mind continuously claims,
But we are still with tongue,
Broken perhaps but not unstrung,
Behavior can be changed,
The rivers of mind can be rearranged,
Zero muscles and mind,
Rivers in mind can be refined,
Our best also fail in actions on repeat,
Good enough shall be considered complete,
Everything that begins can end,
We must, therefore, to our mind tend,
To forever try and never disband,
Until the day we victoriously stand,
Maybe still with a device broken,
But never again unspoken.

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Words of Resilience- Henrik Leifsson — 5 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this poem! I am curious about how does stuttering impact your identity today given that you are now a fluent speaker? Do you still feel the strong connection to your stutter?

  2. Thank you for reading!
    I wouldn’t say my personal identity has changed. However, I feel that how others perceive my identity has changed.

    I still do feel a strong connection to my stutter. I’m reminded by memories, fear and self doubt. That stuttering pain doesn’t go away. I still do stutter mildly sometimes. Even thought I’m fluent today no speaking is perfect. Fluency doesn’t mean that the problem is gone.

  3. Hello!

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem about your own personal feelings regarding your stuttering. The portion about knowing your name really stood out to me. I am a graduate speech-language pathology student and have learned about how people who stutter often have a moment of stuttering when trying to say their own name. I cannot imagine how frustrating that must be. However, I appreciate the attitude you have regarding your stutter. This was beautifully written and I am sure many others will benefit from reading your thoughts and feelings.

  4. Hi Henrik!
    Your poem is beautiful. It really displays a raw truth about stuttering. Understanding the frustration, I loved how you revisited the broken device comparison with a more positive note at the end!
    Wonderful job!
    Chloe Pieniazek

  5. Henrik,
    This piece is extremely powerful. I felt your emotions as I was reading it. Even though I do not have a stutter, I felt as if I was still able to relate to your words in some way.
    You wrote, “Only in a fit of rage, May we temporarily break out of our cage…” Many of us struggle with disabilities and hardships, mentally, physically and emotionally. And it is easy to feel trapped by our struggles. We can try and try to overcome them and push them away into disappearance, but it might not be this simple. Sometimes we feel as if we cannot get away from or out of this metaphorical cage that we are trapped in by our struggles and disabilities.
    I appreciate your willingness to share the hard and frustrating feelings of being trapped by your struggles. I hope that others who feel this way can relate and recognize that they are also not alone.
    Thank you,