Men of Our Time

An Anthology of Male Poetry in Contemporary America

Edited by:

Fred Moramarco (left) & Al Zolynas


Athens, Georgia 30602

ISBN 0-8203-1430-7

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Sample poems below

In this groundbreaking volume, Fred Moramarco and AI Zolynas bring together a comprehensive and widely representative selection of poetry reflecting both the diversity and the commonality of male experience in the United States today. The poems collected in Men of Our Time--257 from more than 170 poets-- include a wide mix of ethnic and racial perspectives that reflect the multicultural tenor of American life. They reveal men's most intimate feelings about the loss of childhood, sexual anxieties and fantasies, aging, self-sufficiency and dependency, and the perennial quest for a masculine identity. Above all, the poems are unapologetically grounded in a distinctly male experience or imagination. Men of Our Time reclaims a poetry that is connected to and expressive of men's lives in the closing decade of the twentieth century.

"Here is an anthology of startling intimacy, as involving as any relationship. Surely we women of our time must fall in love with such poets as these, men who tell the truth about themselves, men who talk to us."

--Kelly Cherry, author of The Exiled Heart

"History books speak of the external accomplishments of a few men in the past; Men of Our Time speaks from the inner spirit of many men of our time. It speaks with love, passion, and power."

--Warren Farrell, author of Why Men Are the Way They Are

Fred Moramarco is a professor of English at San Diego State University and a coauthor of Modern American Poetry. His poetry and criticism have appeared in New York Quarterly, American Poetry Review, Onthebus, and Poetry East. AI Zolynas is a professor of English at United States International University, San Diego, and the author of The New Physics, a collection of poetry.
Men Of Our Time includes poems by:
  • Robert Bly
  • Raymond Carver
  • James Dickey
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Donald Hall
  • Michael S. Harper
  • Robert Hass
  • Robert Hayden
  • Steve Kowit
  • Clarence Major
  • James Merrill
  • W. S. Merwin
  • Simon Ortiz
  • Robert Pinsky
  • Ishmael Reed
  • Jerome Rothenberg
  • Charles Simic
  • Gary Soto
  • Gary Snyder
  • Richard Wilbur

Sections of this anthology include:
  • Boys Becoming Men
  • Sons Seeing Fathers
  • Sons and Their Mothers
  • Fathers and Their Sons
  • Fathers and Their Daughters
  • Men and Women
  • Brothers, Friends, Lovers and Others
  • Men at War
  • The Hearts of Men

Sample Poems


After years by the ocean

a man finds he learns to sail

in the middle of the country,

on the surface of a small lake with a woman's name

in a small boat with one sail.

All summer he skims back and forth

across the open, blue eye of the midwest.

The wind comes in from the northeast

most days anmd the man learns

how to seem to go against it, learns

of the natural always crouched

in the shadow of the unnatural.

Sometimes the wind stops

and the man is becalmed-

just like the old traders who sat for days

in the doldrums on the thin skin of the ocean

nursing their scurvys

and grumbling over short grog rations.

And the man learns a certain language:

he watches the luff, beats windward, comes

hard-about, finally gets

port and starboard straight.

All summer, between the soft, silt bottom

and the blue sheath of the sky, he glides

back and forth across the modest lake

with the woman's name.

And at night

he dreams of infinite flat surfaces,

of flying at incredible speed,

one hand on the tiller, one on the mainsheet, leaning

far out over the sparkling surface, the sail

a transparent membrane, the wind

with its silent howl, a force

moving him from his own heart.

-- Al Zolynas

Clark Kent, Naked

They found him in a phone booth, huddled,

frail as a foetus, shivering in the cold.

The problem, he said, was that when he began

to take off his clothes for the usual transformation,

the blue and red suit with the yellow "S"

emblazoned across the front, just wasn't there.

He couldn't believe it, he said, and kept disrobing

when he was assaulted by a transient who took the pile of clothes.

He insisted that no one tell Lois as they led him away

covered by a wool blanket, babbling incoherently

to the air in front of him, remembering how things used to be.

-- Fred Moramarco

Living With Others

for Arlie

Yesterday, I discovered my wife

often climbs our stairs on all fours.

In my lonely beastliness,

I thought I was alone,

the only four-legged climber, the forger

of paths through thickets to Kilimanjaro's summit.

In celebration then, side by side,

we went up the stairs on all our fours,

and after a few steps

our self-consciousness slid from us

and I growled low in the throat

and bit with blunt teeth my mate's shoulder and

she laughed low

in her throat,

and rubbed her haunches on mine.

At the top of the stairs

we rose on our human feet

and it was fine and fitting somehow;

it was Adam and Eve rising

out of themselves before the Fall-

or after; it was survivors on a raft

mad-eyed with joy

rising to the hum of a distant rescue.

I live for such moments.

-- Al Zolynas

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