Novels Vs. Poetry Books (1 Viewer)

just a thought.
what do you like better, his novels or poetry books? i've just finished reading betting on the muse, and i have to say, i think i like the novels better. some of the poems in betting on the muse get repetitive near the end, and the last short story was hard to get through.
but maybe it was because the book was just long...?

i very much regret that all i've got left of the novels is half of factotum and women. =(
 
I have read more novels but I really like his poetry...I was never into poetry until I read his. It is hard to make a choice....:confused:
 
.... i have to say, i think i like the novels better. some of the poems in betting on the muse get repetitive near the end, and the last short story was hard to get through....

If you are enjoying Bukowski's novels, and regret coming to the end of them, I would "bet on the muse," so to speak, that you will eventually come to deeply enjoy and appreciate his poems just as much. I believe that both came from exactly the same creative source and some of his poems are just as big in scope and spirit but simply compressed into a smaller space... Plus, for a burst of inspiration, there's nothing as complete and as meaningful as some of his truly great poems (Ignus Fatuus) - which only take a moment to read, the poems being what Bukowski may never have been able to get into his novels but which for me can be just as fun or profound.

Maybe I was one of the lucky ones, because I never felt the need to choose between his poetry and his novels, his early works versus the later ones, his myths versus reality. It was all one and the same to me and what mattered was how the wisdom of his words impacted my view of life, not whether his words were based on whatever literary form they took. That's of course just my take on the relationship between his great novels and poems.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
once you have read the novels,
the short stories are great and
then the poetry reads like a novel...fewer words, that's all,
everything is there , distilled.
 
i'm going to have to look into more poetry eventually, because i'm running out of novels.
but yeah, some of the poems are amazing. i agree with you guys.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
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Some collections, the posthumous ones particularly, can be repetitive at times. That's largely due to John Martin's editing though I would think.

Apart from when I first picked up a Bukowski poetry collection, I don't think I have ever really sat with one and read it through from cover to cover as you do with the novels obviously. With his poetry I like to pull a book out and just flick through to a random page and read a poem or two. Then flick to another. I suppose it's like a MP3 player set on random. (Is that pomo? :D)

And I agree with Black Swan's comment - 'everything is there , distilled.'
 
... With his poetry I like to pull a book out and just flick through to a random page and read a poem or two. Then flick to another...

I do so too.
or look into the ToC which title appeals to me.
besides, i make little marks next to the titles, so I can remember how I rated this poem. This leads to reading certain poems again and again without getting again into those I didn't like much.
 
I started of reading the novels(as i think most people do) but as time went by I found myself coming back to the poetry more than the novels. Don't get me wrong I love all his novels (Icluding pulp). I beilive Bukowski saw him self primarly as Poet and so do I. I don't think i could live without "last night of the earth poems" or "Burning in water drowning in flame". But I guess at the same time I would be horribly sad If I could never read "ham on rye" again.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
i can read the poetry whether i'm feeling good or bad, but i can only read his novels when i'm feeling good.

that's how it works for me. :D
 
I love the poetry, and if i had to choose that's where my loyalty would lie. But thankfully no choice must be made, I just finished Post Office, and it was beautiful!! I find myself holding off on a few things because I know once I read them for the first time then it's over. Sorta' like losing your virginity. CRB
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
Poetry over novels. As much as I enjoy reading his novels and seeing the influence of Fante (among others), I really enjoy his poetry. Buk was the first free verse poet I enjoyed and after that it really allowed me to look more critically at more structured poems.

I think for me, it goes Poetry, then Short Stories, and then Novels. Most of his short stuff (particularly in Septugenarian (which I probably misspelled) Stew and South of No North) is excellent.
 
I love the poetry, and if i had to choose that's where my loyalty would lie. But thankfully no choice must be made, I just finished Post Office, and it was beautiful!! I find myself holding off on a few things because I know once I read them for the first time then it's over. Sorta' like losing your virginity. CRB

lol! that's exactly how i feel whenever i've finished reading something by buk. it's happy, and yet sad at the same time.
but i guess you can always reread books that you like. i've read 1984 twice, and it was JUST as good the second time.
 

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