I'm just starting out... (1 Viewer)

Hey-

I'm pretty new to Bukowski in general. I read Post Office and I think that it took me the duration of the novel to ease myself into Bukowski's style of writing and getting his ideas across.

Then I picked up Women and was absolutely in love with every word I read.

I'm trying to get into his poetry, but I feel like I'm having trouble finding his intended meaning in a lot of the poems.

For example, something as simple as Oh Yes.

What was he trying to get across? By too late does he mean that there is nothing worse than ending up with the wrong person and realizing this after it's too late? I initially thought it was about how being alone IS the worst thing, and that the only thing worse than being alone is realizing this after it's too late.

...and I felt like that was one of the easier poems to interpret.

Any advice on how to approach his work?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
I just let the words flow over me.

I spent enough time ruining good works by having to analyze them. If I don't get what's going on, I put it aside, make a note, and go back and reread it later. Generally, that seems to help me as... I'm a speedy reader and often get put off when I don't feel like I'm getting everything in one reading.

Usually a second reading is enough for me. Luckily... a lot of Bukowski's stuff is shorter and makes for good second readings.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Welcome, 6mp8! If you're not into the poems there's still a bunch of novels and short stories you have'nt read yet!
As for the poem, "Oh Yes", I think it's pretty straight forward. If you've been alone for decades and been unhappy about it, and then one day realizes that there are worse things than being alone (that's for sure!), then it's often too late to try to change your situation because all the decades have already gone by. Anyway, that's the way I read the poem. Other people may people read it differently.
 
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welcome.
don't worry about the poems.

I've read most of the stories and novels before I started with the poems. (Poetry isn't very popular in Germany.) I think it might help your understanding of Buks poetry to know a little about his life and viewpoints from his prose.

No need to hurry anyway. The treasure lies there open and will not be taken away.
 
Welcome, 6mp8! I started with Bukowski's poetry years ago. I'm just getting into his novels now. I'm in the middle of Factotum right now.

I think Bukowski's voice in poetry is not that dissimilar from the one he uses in novels. After all, he started poetry after a background in short stories.

I believe he bridged the two styles closer together. Made me realize that I don't have to switch tracks quite so far apart when I write either one.

Though perhaps because he has more of a background in prose, his poems tend to meander a bit. And the meaning, if there is any, may get subdued.

I see Buk's poems as a slice of a moment of his life. Sometimes they mean nothing more than a snapshot of the world passing by.
 
Bukowski, when he writes poetry, means what he says-period. I think that is why his work tends to cause so much consternation. Most people aquainted/steeped with poetry tend to believe there is something hidden there, something to figure out.
Like an artist painting a landscape from a photograph- Bukowski shows us/tells us EXACTLY what he means and sees. IMO-CRB:)
 

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