Just In
for Real Men

4/6/2013 c1 6A.P. Gregory
So I've read both your poems about real men and women and I appreciate the sentiment - we shouldn't be confined by gender norms, or maybe simply, we shouldn't be confined. You're saying that every person is valid and a member of their gender despite how they are. Any moral person will agree with you on this. But my issue is oddly enough, one of inclusiveness. If the theme of your poem is inclusiveness, why make it gendered at all? In the vein of inclusiveness, you've sectioned people into male and female. What could be more exclusive than that? Many do not fall into these categories, whether they are intersexed, transexual etc. You've paired gender, what makes a man a man, down to biology alone. If we want true inclusiveness, why make the gender distinction at all?

I think a more inclusive poem would be "Real People". But then again, I don't think I would enjoy that poem half as much as I enjoyed yours. It was well-written and it certainly made me think.
1/8/2013 c1 5Dr. Self Destruct
Hey there, I was just browsing the Roadhouse forums, and the title of this poem caught my attention. I just have a few short things to say...

I really love the theme behind this poem. I think it's definitely a very deep theme, and it's also nice to see this aimed for men as opposed to women. There are already plenty of poems and motivational essays about how women should be considered beautiful (or real) no matter what they look like, and it's nice to see that optimistic viewpoint aimed toward the male gender this time. I'm all for gender equality, and I think this really helps even the playing field. That mention of the Y-chromosome was definitely my favorite - I think it was a wise choice to go from the more organic aspects of weight and size, then reach a kind of more scientific aspect of it... though I guess chromosomes could still be considered organic. Whatever, you know what I mean. xD

I know you mention in your Author's Note that you're not much of a poet, and I'm still pretty new to that aspect of creative writing as well. I recently took a creative writing course at my university, and we focused half the semester on poetry, so maybe I can give you some helpful, more technical advice. First has to do with the formatting, which I know is FictionPress' fault. I don't know if you copy/paste into the Document Manager and edit that way, but if you do and hold down the "shift" key when you press enter, it'll do a single space between lines instead of a double space. That way you can group up some stanzas, because as it reads now it's kind of difficult to tell when one idea ends and another begins, which is all tied into that formatting issue.

On to some more minor things, I think there are a couple lines where you might want to revise the punctuation. Usually I'm not this nit-picky, but punctuation affects a poem a lot more than it does prose work. For example, I think you need a period after the line "But not his Y-chromosome" near the end, because the next line you're jumping into another idea. Also, these lines:

[There are gentle men and cruel men

Kind men and valiant men and cowardly men

But men all the same]

You might want to put commas at the ends of them because the enjambment doesn't really work as it stands. I'd say the biggest thing to go back and revise would be the punctuation and/or enjambment at the end of each line. I think it'll make the rhythm a lot more even, because in poetry sound is very important.

One more thing is maybe condense the language. The way it reads now it sorta sounds like a really short blurb broken down into stanzas. For example, the beginning really stuck out to me as overly wordy:

[Real men do not have to prove that they're men.
It is not something they must earn
Or discover.
It is what they are.]

I suggest maybe rewording it like this:

"Real men don't have to prove they're men.
It's not something they earn,
or discover;
it's what they are."

Just minor alterations that I think will really help with the rhythm. Let me know if you want some more clarification on anything I pointed out here. I hope you find this review helpful. :)
1/5/2013 c1 9MotherYggdrasil
I really enjoyed this piece and I second the opinions. Men are men simple and plain. A "real" man is any man, because all that exists in reality is real... or is it? It is our illusions, our ideals that shape our reality.

well written and I agree that FP formatting needs some improvement.


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