Oro madre - vol. 2, no. 3/4 - 1984: here i am

Pogue Mahone

Officials say drugs may have played a part
Over 1000 posts
#1
Mind you, this is not one of Bukowski's best, but I feel Martin tainted a key stanza in War All The Time:

Oro Madre
While all the fear of the wasted years
laughs between my toes
no woman will live with me
no Florence Nightengale to watch the
Johnny Carson show with

War All the Time
While the fear of wasted years
laughs between my toes
no woman will live with me
no Florence Nightingale to watch over me.

The poem is obviously about Bukowski feeling lonely in the middle of the night and the Carson reference really adds to that feeling. And I think the change softens the meaning of what he wants in a Florence Nightingale and the poem as a hole. (FYI: Nightengale is a spelling error in Oro Madre).

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mjp

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#4
I suppose he removed "Johnny Carson" because soon no one will know who that is. But I don't necessarily see an outdated reference as a bad thing. It might make some future reader do some research and discover something they wouldn't have otherwise discovered.

I think the problem here though is the same as the problem with every last one of Martin's changes, and that is they change the intention of the writer.

Martin's:

While the fear of wasted years
laughs between my toes​

means something quite different than:

While all the fear of the wasted years
laughs between my toes​

What Bukowski means or intends to get across is open to a couple different interpretations, but Martin's change takes that interpretation away. Which his changes almost always do. They try to explain what the poet is saying. But if the poet wanted to do that, they would have done it themselves.

And it's those kinds of things that make me believe (sorry, know) that Martin, A) didn't understand Bukowski's work, and B) doesn't understand poetry, period.
 

zobraks

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Over 1000 posts
#6
Last edited:

Joseph K

Over 100 posts
#8
So did buk only check proofs when he noticed something wrong? Or did he not check proofs? He skimmed the proofs of Women he admitted.
 
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