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

  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (3/2/2020 3:28:00 AM)

    such a lovely great poem.........great 10++(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (8/1/2019 10:04:00 PM)

    A meandering poem, admittedly about her changing attitudes to men walking past the window.
    She is right, 'No keys exist'.(Report)Reply

    God 2.0(12/9/2019 2:44:00 PM)

    You're just being a stinky nerd

    God 2.0(12/9/2019 2:44:00 PM)

    You're opinion is stinky.

    4 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (7/25/2019 10:50:00 PM)

    Too many words and clauses about the subject She is another hugely overrated poet.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • Emma Otim Akulu. (7/12/2019 1:41:00 AM)

    The uncontrollable boiling rage of desire and love within an adolescent girl neatly scribbled to unleash the bursting feelings within her. The pain of being caged in a house smashing her yearn of robbing shoulders with the men she sees through her window forces her to shade her tears in writings like all scholars do.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (7/3/2019 12:40:00 AM)

    There are Men and Men. I had been 15 too, but entirely another world. My beloved Mum was always keeping me in her eyesight. I understand the world of the great poetess when she was 15 years of age. So eerie it seems. Most touching poetry I ever read and this poem haunts me in a certain way. I must admit most exciting. Congrats!(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Jane Campion (7/2/2019 7:58:00 PM)

    Maybe, there is more when she walks outt the door.

    This is an exemplar for all aspiring poets.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kevin PatrickKevin Patrick (7/2/2019 7:23:00 PM)

    The subject is obvious, its about being assaulted, in the beginning her feelings were those of youthful interest, she had an ideal of what men where, then when she came into contact with one, that illusion was horribly shattered and she saw right through the veneer. A good example to use for the me to age.(Report)Reply

    Daisha(5/10/2020 5:28:00 PM)

    My sentiments exactly on this poems meaning. I can relate!

    Daisha(5/10/2020 5:26:00 PM)

    My sentiments exactly on the meaning behind this poem. I can relate!

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (7/2/2019 10:28:00 AM)

    The perceptions of a young girl of 15 about men and the horrible changes in it due to the experiences given by some of them subsequently have been boldly and forcefully narrated. Well deserved modern poem of the Day.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Glen KappyGlen Kappy (7/2/2019 8:31:00 AM)

    it's too bad to many of us men act like idiots, and too many of us never grow up or grow out of the indiscretions (or worse) of our youth. -gk(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Xisaruc Xisaruc (7/2/2019 8:01:00 AM)

    I am making $92 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $95 however I see the way it works now. I experience masses freedom now that i'm my non-public boss.That is what I do......
    Www.E­­2­­s­­a­­l­­a­­r­­y­­.­­c­­o­­m(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Tom Allport (7/2/2019 2:23:00 AM)

    A poem that observes the nature of the beast?(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (7/2/2019 1:07:00 AM)

    Men! ! ! !
    This time i will simply stand and watch.

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (7/2/2019 1:02:00 AM)

    A quick hug.
    Soft into your defenselessness. A little
    More. The hurt begins.

    great write
    great 10+++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (7/2/2019 12:39:00 AM)

    One of the best poems by Maya Angelou......(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • angelo davinchito cheeto boy (6/30/2019 1:44:00 PM)

    Lean down, duty calls
    Wipe yo face all on my balls
    When a big bottom bijjtch come through the lot
    A young nigjjga forgets everything he been taught

    Stuck in the stall
    My dude done got her on the wall
    This bitjjch loud,
    Her pujjssy gettin' ploughed

    He ain't pull out
    That bijjtch came over, no doubt
    My young nigjjga's gotta run
    He ain't livin wit no thjjot's sonAlready ReportedReply

    0 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Bella (1/15/2019 8:32:00 AM)

    This is so true and relevant to issues today. Lovely poem(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Britte NinadBritte 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

    6 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr 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

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Imani (5/8/2018 5:17:00 PM)

    I am learning about her in class(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • lotus (4/9/2018 7:56:00 PM)

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

    shamallama moomoo(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.

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

    @lotus you know Maya Angelou is dead right?

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
Read all 90 comments »

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



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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