2006-2010 Poetry Analysis

“Woman, I Got the Blues”: Finding Morality in Modern Times

The following is a close reading of a poem by Yusef Komunyakaa (one of my favorite poets) entitled, “Woman, I Got the Blues,” which you can read at

As adolescents enter adulthood, many of them start to question the truisms spoon-fed to them from their parents, teachers, ministers, and others in positions of power. Perhaps these inquiries arise following the initial breach of a social taboo, such as engaging in premarital relations with another person, trying drugs or alcohol for the first time, or breaking a minor law without censure.

2001-2005 Poems

“The Shadows of a Sunlit Life”

This is one of my favorite pieces. The language is a little archaic and clunky, but I love the aphoristic ending.

2001-2005 Poems


I once asked my Pop,
“What makes a man a man?”
He answered,
“Two things my boy:
a set of balls & a cock.”
I next asked my Pop,
“And a woman, what makes that?”
“Two things my boy:
a set of boobs & a twat.”

[It’s no wonder
He & Mother
can no longer
see each other.]

One man said that
all women came
from one man,
that man is made
by the Maker’s hands.
But who creates the Maker?
Who makes the creator’s hands?

I realize now
that wool-gathering
has no place within
the shepherd’s flock.
It’s better not
to ask such questions,
to question the maker,
to make inquires to the shepherd,
to shepherd the incensed flock.

What makes a man?
I may never know.
My Pop was right
on one thing, though.
Two things make woman:
the letter “W”
& the letter “O.”