Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

Men - Poem by Maya Angelou

When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old men.
Young men sharp as mustard.
See them. Men are always
Going somewhere.
They knew I was there. Fifteen
Years old and starving for them.
Under my window, they would pauses,
Their shoulders high like the
Breasts of a young girl,
Jacket tails slapping over
Those behinds,
Men.

One day they hold you in the
Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you
Were the last raw egg in the world. Then
They tighten up. Just a little. The
First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
Soft into your defenselessness. A little
More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a
Smile that slides around the fear. When the
Air disappears,
Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,
Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.
It is your juice
That runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.
When the earth rights itself again,
And taste tries to return to the tongue,
Your body has slammed shut. Forever.
No keys exist.

Then the window draws full upon
Your mind. There, just beyond
The sway of curtains, men walk.
Knowing something.
Going someplace.
But this time, I will simply
Stand and watch.

Maybe.


Comments about Men by Maya Angelou

  • Petals Azureblue (7/14/2018 8:17:00 AM)


    Eishhhhhh! ! ! Beautifully crafted poem of pain. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Britte Ninad (6/12/2018 4:08:00 AM)


    beasts are walking haughty
    on the breast of nude tree
    bark is nothing for fist
    all are sweet in gist
    man or woman
    woe not; not foe
    lack of conscience
    just they grow and dance
    (Report) Reply

  • Dr.tony Brahmin (5/15/2018 3:52:00 PM)


    The
    First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
    Soft into your defenselessness. A little
    More....very nice comaparisons.. tony
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/8/2018 5:17:00 PM)


    I am learning about her in class (Report) Reply

  • (4/9/2018 7:56:00 PM)


    i love your poems please make more poems please i love maya angelou. (Report) Reply

    (4/27/2018 11:03:00 AM)

    I mean I'm not trying to disrespect her, I'm just letting you know, so you don't get your hopes up.

    (4/27/2018 11:01:00 AM)

    @lotus you know Maya Angelou is dead right?

  • (1/23/2018 10:06:00 AM)


    did any one realize this poem is about unmarried sex (Report) Reply

    (9/6/2018 3:03:00 PM)

    more than that it's about unwanted
    and wanting men but not
    and not wanting men after unwanted

  • (1/16/2018 9:49:00 AM)


    youre just mad becase you coudent get someone in life anyecky (Report) Reply

  • (1/5/2018 9:46:00 AM)


    maya angelou was a freakin' pervert (Report) Reply

  • (12/21/2017 1:46:00 PM)


    I agree men are trash (Report) Reply

    (1/16/2018 9:51:00 AM)

    youre just mad becase you coudent get someonein lifr and youre trash tooo

  • (11/19/2017 8:32:00 AM)


    Scenarios played in my mind. Thought provoking (Report) Reply

  • Ojok Isaac (9/4/2017 8:04:00 AM)


    wow! that 's amazing.....may you bless so i wear your shoe (Report) Reply

  • Hassan Hayati (7/26/2017 12:25:00 AM)


    may be the curtain is used as the valuable cover that women use to hide their innocent feelings (Report) Reply

  • (6/24/2017 9:42:00 AM)


    As a man what can i say... so true in many cases. (Report) Reply

  • Rose Kanana (12/21/2016 3:33:00 AM)

    Euphemism
    I like the use of euphemism in this poem. A very deep theme created that is thoughts evoking. Maya does it so well and she remains the best of best. (Report) Reply

  • (1/17/2016 7:54:00 AM)


    Raw and fashinating, as life it is. Wonderful expression of truth (Report) Reply

  • (11/9/2015 3:03:00 AM)


    The search for 'men' is a complicated one. Indeed the men we treasure are like all others natural treasures. They are not easily found. Sometimes we suffer hardship and deprivation to obtain them. Maya's poem teaches us the wisdom of the search, and that sometimes standing and watching must be the standard. Maybe. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (10/16/2015 7:06:00 PM)


    the power of an intelligent woman telling a story that cannot be forgotten, that will haunt the intelligent reader for the rest of his life (Report) Reply

    Jez Brul (6/23/2018 2:57:00 PM)

    You nailed it mam Susan...that's absolutely true!

  • (9/25/2015 8:06:00 AM)


    ........nicely penned...and a tough theme ★ (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2015 1:43:00 AM)


    Add a comment Such a nyc poem from a poetess from a different planet (^.^)....luv u Mammy Maya (Report) Reply

  • Naida Nepascua Supnet (5/18/2015 5:46:00 AM)


    As always she is a master story-teller
    She shuts her mouth never
    Revealing reality
    Without pity without mercy


    That makes her Maya Angelou
    (Report) Reply

Read all 72 comments »

User Rating:
3,8 / 5 ( 299 votes ) 67



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: girl, smile, fear, world, running



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
[Report Error]