Richman – Honorable Manhood

Honorable Manhood
In Honorable Manhood, written just after the physical and moral devastation of the Gulf War, Elliot Richman takes as his title a phrase from a letter Sullivan Ballou, a Civil War officer, wrote to his wife on the eve of the battle in which he was killed.

This book-length sequence of poems chronicles an illicit affair between a painter and the wife of an Air Force pilot participating in the bombing of Iraq during the Gulf War. As the lovers, each empty his or her own way, speculate about the fate of the husband and the state of the world in general, their sense of anguish seems to intensify both their physical passion and their existential dread.

The book concludes amid an ironic and bitter triumph: the waving flags and yellow ribbons signal the return of the pilot and the end of the affair. Set within this narrative framework and deepened by the complexities of betrayal and spiritual need, Richman delivers some of the finest, most intimate and revealing erotic poems ever written.

Price: $8.95