Poetry – What does it take to be a real man?

Poetry – What does it take to be a real man?

A real man?

Silent, don’t you have a name,
Show me, I can see your pain,
Emotionless, don’t hide away,
Tell me, I can feel your pain.

Heart, no longer knows love,
Scared, who has lost all faith.
Beaten by love, you need not stay.

Pretty, I see it in your eyes,
Listen, not to his lies.
Live in fear, it’s light outside,
Lonely, step by my side.

Cry, leave behind the rain,
Forgetting, there is no shame,
Worried, it’ll be just fine,
Hand, reach for mine.

This poem was written by myself in support of Women’s Aid‘The Real Man Campaign’ against domestic violence upon children and women. Please support the campaign to get 100,000 to sign the pledge by 25th November 2011 – the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women.

Just by simply signing the pledge at realmancampaign.com you can help to make a difference.

Share the poem, share the message.

Jay Karsandas is a freelance designer in web, SEO, print and social media and writes about design, inspiration & philosohy. Also co-founder of gadgets and tech site mwoblog, while you can find him over at e2 community where he acts as author and webmaster.


  1. Emma

    April 6th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I have been in this situation before. It takes a lot to get out once you are past a certain point. Touching words. Thanks.


  2. Omlaw

    April 14th, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I am sorry, but I do not support your poem nor the institution to which it prescribes its moral ethics.

    However, from the pure construction of the poem, I cannot say anything bad. Using a word or quick phrase at the beginning of every line gives it a very good rhythm. The use of negation before verbs gives it a peculiar sound, a sound I actually enjoy. It elevates the poem into a nearly manifesto vibe. The imperfect internal rhymes work well whereas perfect rhymes might have seemed tacky–good choice. I think the double use of “pain” in the first stanza hurts the flow, however. Your last two stanzas are much stronger than your first two.
    Now, for your poem’s content…I am not saying domestic violence is a good thing nor is it bad to wish for the safety of families/children. However, I find it appalling the way in which modern society has vilified men. “The Real Man” campaign (which I knew nothing about until reading your poem) has offended me deeply. This is the same gender fear-mongering that disallows men to be elementary school teachers, assumes we are all pedophiles, and thinks that when we raise our voices we raise our fists too. This is the same type of blatant stereotyping (albeit wrapped in pink font and hard-to-decry-without-injurious-retaliation marketing) that hinders progress rather than allowing an opening to move forward.
    Your poem speaks to the woman in an abusive domestic space with a man–I understand that I am not a target audience and I understand that there are people to whom this poem may apply. They will give you a different review and will react differently. It would be against my duty as a reviewer to not voice my opinions to you, even if they are not of the majority. But under the banners of this institution you are advertising and writing for (as well as the messages in your poem), I feel it is saying the only man worth trusting is the emasculated one, with forlorn eyes to the ground, shoulders slouched in the most subdued and impotent fashion, like beaten horses, like supine beasts declawed as not to harm anyone ever again. Your poem points a finger at men as an enemy who has eradicated love from women’s hearts, as a villain that has beaten women’s names out of them. This is horrible to do and only creates a victimized paranoia and an irrational fear of men. Also, the men in The Real Man campaign are not what I would call “a real man.” This is not a man, nor is it the “do good” campaign that strives for real balance in a domestic space. It is the radical opposite extreme of the drunk bastard who beats his own family–the spineless man operating in a world where men and declared guilty until proven innocent by paranoid women.

    I do not support this affront against men. Your poem’s content is obviously not meant for me, but I nonetheless find issue with the subtexts. But, as I have said, it is a solid poem. I encourage you to keep writing, as you obviously have talent, but I felt that since you voiced your opinion in poetry, I should voice mine in prose.

    Edit: I am not saying my opinions as if I represent men and you represent women. Just wanted to make that clear.

  3. Jay

    April 14th, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Thank you for your thought provoking and in depth comment. I take very kindly to the time you have taken in writing such a great response. This was the first poem I have written and your feedback can only help me construct future one’s better. I fully understand your opinions upon the issue of how society creates the image of men.

    What I wanted to get across was towards the target audience as you say is not specifically yourself, but those that may be in the situation themselves or can relate to. Someone who may need to stand out and stand up and know that there is a way out.

    I am not in support of men or women but a balance for people. I do not fault the way you see the campaign. I myself work in marketing & advertising and we sometimes use the opposite spectrum of image to capture an audience. In this instance it’s not gone down the shocking route. Whether it comes off a success we won’t know yet.
    Again thank you for your comment feedback like this makes me want to continue writing. You may want to look out for some of my posts on the topic ‘A Real Man’ which I will be adding to my site.


  4. September 1st, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    The geinus store called, they’re running out of you.

my Friends speak your mind.