Tales and Art in a Small Scale with a Big Heart

Traditional Art

No Soul without a Heart — a Poem Zine


This is a zine I did in the spring of 2019 when I applied to a university to study visual communication. One was supposed to make a zine with a cover and three spreads to include in the application, and the theme was "soul". It was supposed to contain text with 1500-2500 letters, marks and spaces, and illustrations of any sort, and not contain too big files. There were no other requirements nor guidelines. Just the vague theme of a soul. Okay. I did my best, and I made it as non-religious as possible because my country is mostly inhabitated by atheists. So I thought outside the Box Obvious, which would have included angels or something else from the Bible.

However, I would say that the soul can't really be anything but religious, as it doesn't exist unless you believe in it as something separate from the body or its parts. It's not tangible, unlike the heart. That's why it's too abstract a theme to view in a scientific way, and I knew I would have to show it in story form that everyone could relate to, regardless of religion or the lack of it. And because I love writing poems and lots of people make poem zines, I made one of my own.

This is my first ever zine, and I've been thinking about selling prints on Etsy, but then it's probably not going to be a great source of income for my poor unemployed self. So I'll likely not bother, at least not until I have something else to sell, too. But right now I'm posting it here for your viewing for free. The text within the pictures is in Finnish, but you can find the English translation under the pictures. I did the illustrations with watercolor pencils which I bought just for this project.

I didn't even get to the entrance examination, by the way, so clearly they didn't appreciate my portrayal of the theme. But I'm proud of my work and I hope you like it, too.

This story depicts the sad early life of Elliot Crane and one act of kindness that turned it around.


I lost my soul long ago
Out the window it flew
Escaped a shout so loud
When he struck me down the ground

“You’re good for nothin'
You’re too weak, feeble and tender-minded
A real man’s no whiner
Don’t cry his eyes out for nothin'!”

Thin was my heart already
Black inside and flat like a slice of loaf
Now it broke into the tiniest of pieces
For what is a heart without a soul?

Maybe I myself chuck it out
For if this is love
It couldn’t be worse, no doubt
And I’ll never be wanting more

I couldn’t tell anyone
Kept it all to myself for a long time
Covered my scars, toughened up my skin
And buried my feelings deep
Like none of those never existed at all


Alone I worried for a time
Cried blood and gathered black above my head
Barely got out the bed in the morning
Or the front door slouching
Like I was already dead

Then you came around and asked, “Why do you cry?”
I denied everything, I mean, I didn’t have no feelings
Except maybe anger and anxiety
Without a soul you’ve got no weakness
So nothing could hurt me now

“Something’s clearly not alright
Why don’t you tell me? Maybe I can help”
And I started talking to you
As if things could turn worse from this plight


Carefully you listened, and then something happened
You told me that it’s a strength to be oneself
Even if the world asked you to change
And somehow my mood got lighter, anger subsided

I realized that you can’t have feelings without a heart
There can’t be no heart without a soul
Or a soul without a heart
So never did they leave me
It was just that my eyes were too blurry to see

A day at a time forward we move 
With bright, clean wings we fly
And because you accept part of my soul as your own
Maybe, just maybe one day
I’ll give it all to you

You may share my work in social media with proper linking back to this site. Also, check out my other posts and leave comments wherever you wish. I welcome all constructive criticism with open arms.

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