This poem ‘I am a man’ is by a young slam poet called Harry Baker. I think it is an excellent poem from a young man that incorporates humour,vibrancy, vulnerability , humanity, masculine issues, death, friendship, sacrifice, and men’s emotions. I like his engaging persona , expressiveness and the tenderness he displays as he tells a story about one brother’s sacrifice. One of my favourite lines from this work is:
‘Real men have issues and real men cry, that’s why they make man size tissues for man size eyes’
While I like the way Harry uses the ‘Real men’ terminology and questions the tough guy image he unfortunately is unable to remain consistent. Not long after this line he falls into the trap of traditional masculine rhetoric when he describes himself ‘crying like a girl’. Implying that real men don’t cry - only girls, women and babies cry! Later on Harry asserts that ‘real men’ are brave – implying that if as a man you happen not to be brave or feel brave then your masculinity may be in question.
See his website here - http://about.me/harrybaker. If you are are on twitter you can also follow him @harrybakerpoet.
Slight criticism aside I think this is an excellent piece of work – what do you think?