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CAPTCHA's Cruelty

Laura Breidenthal Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled CAPTCHA's Cruelty which was written by poet Laura Breidenthal. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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CAPTCHA's Cruelty


The CAPTCHA took me by surprise tonight
Letters became ghouls in my mind’s eye
I listed them—
Noted them; words...begging, crying out for me


CAPTCHA was merely mocked
By millions of viewers on keyboards
I imagined all—
Tears began to fall


How may I help you, CAPTCHA?
Are you merely what they say?
Is there more—
Tell me, I pray


You bewilder my senses with your emptiness
The computer became my way to you
But all I could do—
Was imitate


I began to imagine someone stuck in CAPTCHA
A place where they harbored the weak
They took what they pleased—
Allowed them to speak


Today it was happening and evermore
There was a reason I came to know
And now—
I want to know more


I swallowed air and typed in the words
Feeling worthless and absurd
I began to believe—
There was more to this irrational dream


The screen went black and then I was sure
I couldn’t doubt it anymore
The CAPTCHA wanted me—
The letters suddenly blurred and unseen

Let them go
Full of woe
Take me now
Tell me how to
Set them free
Knowing is free

Knowing is free


For years I have copied your codes
Knowing you are there
Me—it’s me
Crying in the dark pit of despair


Though empty your words are to me
They are all I hear
All I fear—
In four letters on this electric trap


What am I to do?
To follow would weary my soul
To save—
Would take its toll


What is this foreign word my dear?
Oh, how can you cut and paste it in my mind so clear?
Free—and then? 
Close your eyes and count to ten

The victims of the CAPTCHA remain a mystery to us all
Yet still we stare at the codes and merely imitate them
We are zombies staring our lives away
Trapped in CAPTCHA’s claws
Sad, deprived. . .

I speak your language to stop this cruelty:


Though we choose not to see
We choose not to fight
We choose only to IMITATE
We merely copy and paste



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  1. Date: 10/8/2013 8:28:00 PM
    This is amazing. Pure creativity at it's best. I love it. It made me smile on a blue Tuesday. Thank you Laura.~Kilmer

  1. Date: 8/13/2013 3:33:00 AM
    I really like this one. It reminds me of the time I was texting you over the internet and had to put in captchas and it had similar ones like this. (HELP a much reoccurring one) and we kindah thought a lil' mini story hehe :) Anyhow; excellent write. YOu are brilliant ~Becca

  1. Date: 8/9/2013 7:38:00 AM
    so you didn't know about the contest I see. Don't worry, very few of us made the winner list, but it was sure interesting to see the many cute entries as they were being posted!

  1. Date: 7/21/2013 9:41:00 AM
    This is well done. A little scary because it gives the feeling you are a poet going crazy. Since I have some idea of who you are by your writing, I think this is very funny!

  1. Date: 7/20/2013 9:48:00 PM

    Breidenthal Avatar Laura Breidenthal
    Date: 7/20/2013 10:09:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    (: *hug* ~Laura
  1. Date: 7/20/2013 2:08:00 PM
    VEry interesting stuff. Captchas can sure read in funny ways!! Are you entering the acrostic contest with an acrostic version of a Captcha?

    Breidenthal Avatar Laura Breidenthal
    Date: 7/20/2013 10:08:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I hadn't a clue there was one till you mentioned it. Hm...I dunno. Maybe.. ^^
  1. Date: 7/19/2013 8:40:00 PM
    hey this one reads JAMX ?????

    Breidenthal Avatar Laura Breidenthal
    Date: 7/19/2013 8:45:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Keep Jammin' PD... thanks for your visit. *hug* ~Laura
  1. Date: 7/19/2013 8:38:00 PM
    lol. Laura, you should read a few of my captcha's.. sometimes I feel as if the soup is spying on me... in most of the patterns I get... PD_ _ lol... or crazy words... thanks for the hi...LINDA

    Breidenthal Avatar Laura Breidenthal
    Date: 7/19/2013 9:01:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The soup loves you PD! You are incredible. The only thing to fear is some loving you a bit TOO much. ;) ~Laura
  1. Date: 7/19/2013 3:57:00 PM
    you give good insight and have great expression also thanks for your kind words on mine back on soup next week hope you well xxx davidscott

    Breidenthal Avatar Laura Breidenthal
    Date: 7/19/2013 9:00:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Enjoyed reading your poem today, David. I appreciate your review. ~Laura
  1. Date: 7/19/2013 12:34:00 PM
    Laura, this poem is absolutely brilliant. There are so many possible angles and interpretations of it, and of all the possibilities, you did such a fantastic job highlighting online addiction and its dissociative side-effects; in your own unique and highly creative way. I am going to fave this poem. Wot a cool concept piece.

    Breidenthal Avatar Laura Breidenthal
    Date: 7/19/2013 9:00:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. Really glad you enjoyed. Your work often sticks with me. Sometimes the horror of mere words will stick. Even my own words stick. There are little signs all along the way that keep us reminded too. Thanks again for the cool review Chris. Can't wait to read more from you. ~Laura
  1. Date: 7/19/2013 7:44:00 AM
    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! A poem about that silly "CAPTCHA" was inevitable. DAMN did you do this some justice! The beauty of technology & its "security", eh? =)

    Breidenthal Avatar Laura Breidenthal
    Date: 7/19/2013 8:57:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Drake. I admire your enthusiasm. (: You are very sweet. Technology can make one quite paranoid. Of course, there is an infinite greatness to it as well. ~Laura