Please help me if you can. It's about Bukowski's poetry theme and style.

Hello everybody,

I need some help, please. I'm writing an analytical essay about Charles Bukowski and I would like to get some information. My question is:

Examine the theme and style of Charles Bukowski's poetry.

I would really appreciate if somebody could tell me some info and websites where I can fine it.

Thanks in advance
 
don't waste your time searching, there's nothing really serious online. most available online resources are listed in a thread in one of the forums.
 
I searched this forum and didn't find anything about the theme and style of his poetry. Well as far as I know his style is minimalist. He writes about booze, woman and bad jobs. But I need more info, like other themes and styles and why is he writes that way? Thanks for the reply though
 
korb
get a couple of his cds - "hostage" springs to mind -
just about any one you find should fill the bill -
themes other than booze and bad jobs...people seems the common thread -
listen (or read) closely and you'll find what you need...may even learn a bit about yourself - (smiles)

rrat
 
Sounds like you want quick information for an assignment or something. You may find some quick, easy answers, but you'll only be scratching the surface. Maybe when you're finished with your assignment you'll spend the next few years reading Bukowski's work. ;)
 
man that is the best advice anybody has ever given anybody.

READ HIS STUFF. its quite easy to examine his theme and style..., simplistic, structured lines. drink, write, and fuck
 
bukowski only human

i'm a fan of bukowski's writing. i admire the way he was honest and simple and not full of too much shit (although every writer is). but what i realize is that the man was only human. some people on this forum speak as though he were the second coming of jesus or something. does it really matter what hand he wrote with or if he was bisexual or, worst of all, if he would approve of things that are happening today. bukowski detested almost everything popular. because he could never fit in, he convinced himself that he didn't need it and, furthurmore, that it was all empty and meaningless. while this maybe true for much of popular culture it certainly isn't true for all of it. there are a lot of really talented people who also enjoy tremendous success and celebrity. for instance, bob dylan. the man was a lyrical genius. and if bukowski said he wasn't good then i think bukowski is full of shit because i'm sure he could recognize dylan's talent. dylan was a better poet than bukowski, hands down. he was more lyrical and imaginative and themeatic. anyways, i'm not trying to diminish bukowski. he is probably one of the most important american writer's of the 20th century. all i'm saying is that you should never completely except a person; there is always something that you won't agree with. if any of you have a probelm with what i said then let me know.

much respect
 
i'll leave it to the more eloquent posters on the forum. all i'll say is "DUCK FANCYLADD!!"
 
fancyladd said:
i'm a fan of bukowski's writing...
while you bring up many valid points, they are ones already discussed elsewhere in the forum. while a formidible task, a little browsing of the threads might've been a good idea.
the people here know that buk was flawed, flirted with misanthropy, flip flopped in his opinion of people and things. that is not an original idea. the imperfection is something that draws a lot of like minded people to buk. perfection, as the cliche goes, is boring.
is it important whether he was left handed or not? of course not, but this is a Bukowski board, and a bit of zealotry is to be expected, as well as contrary opinions.
also, while I love Bob Dylan, I think it's a vain proposition to think that everyone else believe he's a genius like I do. the same goes for Bukowski.
in peace...

EDIT: dylan and bukowski were also two very different writers. to compare them and say who is better is a difficult thing.
 
sorry if i was glib

you're probably right there. i shouldn't have underestimated the intelligence of the people on this forum. and for that, i am sorry. all i meant was that it seems that some people here, defintely not all or even the majority for that matter, seem to idolize him without question. there is a lot of danger in this, as you surely realize. to follow anyone blindly and without question can only cause problems, for the follower and for the people he influences or tries to influence. anyways, i guess i was being glib when i said dylan was a better poet. they are in fact very different in style. i just mean that, for me, dylan is more poetic in the way he employs a lot of poetic devices while bukowski is usually raw and direct, more of an animal, if you will, attacking the page. but i do believe that bukowski could appreciate dylan's talent. i mean, how could you not?
 
Most people on this board do not accept Charles Bukowski without question, but as hoochmonkey9 says, this is a Bukowski board so if we end up discussing which hand Bukowski used to wipe his arse and whether or not he though Dylan was a bullshitter doesn't really matter - we just like to think and talk about Bukowski and occassionally bring into the discussion our other likes and dislikes. Bukowski is obviously an Idol to many of the members, as Dylan might be to fancyladd, and we can always blurt out some high-falutin statement about our Idols...

Somewhere in the cold darkness or our thoughts we must know that he would hate this forum, hate being talked about in this way and hate every last one of us, but in our hearts, we can still be friends, comrades, compadres.

_________

If only there was more of this thing called Peace.
 
fancyladd said:
...for me, dylan is more poetic in the way he employs a lot of poetic devices while bukowski is usually raw and direct, more of an animal, if you will, attacking the page. but i do believe that bukowski could appreciate dylan's talent. i mean, how could you not?
I love much of Bob Dylan's music, he was a very influential figure in my creative life. But a poet he ain't. At least not so far as his song lyrics are concerned.

Take away the music, look at those words bare on a page, and to me, they come across as either simplistic, abstract or they just plain fall flat. That goes for almost any song lyric you can name.

I don't say that to detract from Dylan or any other songwriter. But there's a reason that lyrics and poetry are two separate things. The musician has the incredible benefit of the addition of music to their words, and that's not something a poet can compete with. But consequently, it's also what makes lyrics something other than (not less than, just different than) poetry.

That's just my take as someone who was a professional musician in a previous life, and now writes poetry rather than lyrics.

Also --- saying that Dylan was "more poetic" than Bukowski leads me to believe that you haven't read much of Bukowski's older work.
 
hank solo said:
...we must know that he would hate this forum, hate being talked about in this way and hate every last one of us...
Actually, I think he would love this forum. He got so little recognition for so long, that he seemed to really appreciate it when he finally did begin to get it. He said it was ridiculous and he didn't care about it, but he did. You can certainly read between the lines of many of his letters and get that impression.

But --- if you asked him publicly about something like this forum, he would say he hated it, and that we were wasting our time here. ;)
 
Hi,
THIS is the problem with fans... Really. I can't tell you how many times I have argued with people over similar issues. I once had to fire an employee after he threatened to to grave bodily harm to another employee. What was this argument about? A fight over a girl? No. A fight over who's Momma was fatter? no. Employee A wanted employee B to admit that The Grateful Dead was the BEST BAND EVER. This discussion degenerated into threats. How could it have not? It is like saying that Picasso was the BEST artist ever? That is only true if you care for his work and it is most important to you. Was Picasso BETTER than Rembrandt? Who knows. Every one defines art in their own way.

What I'm getting at is that you can't compare art. Trying to do so will give you a headache. Just be happy that you find Bob Dylan as your favorite poet/singer. Let it go at that. Personally, I could care less if others read Buk. He does not have to be known by everyone in the world to be my favorite writer.

Also, I started the "Left-Handed" thread becasue the forum was painfully quiet. It was a stupid question, but one that you may find personally stupid is still keeping the ideas flowing... If you don't find interest, then ignore the thread. If you think that we are all a bunch of ass-licking Buk fans and you are not, then this is not the right place for you.

As far as idiolizing Buk as the second coming of Jesus... I think that you said that without really reading the forum. I make many mis-statements for lack of knowledge. This statement was one that you made. I'm not sure who here thinks that Buk was the ideal man, human being, perfect writer. We just all love reading him and talking about him. As far as politics, yes it does matter what a writer would be writing if he were alive today...

my $.02

Bill
 
mjp said:
Actually, I think he would love this forum. He got so little recognition for so long, that he seemed to really appreciate it when he finally did begin to get it. He said it was ridiculous and he didn't care about it, but he did. You can certainly read between the lines of many of his letters and get that impression.

But --- if you asked him publicly about something like this forum, he would say he hated it, and that we were wasting our time here. ;)

EVERYONE wants recognition that what they are doing is important. The guy that vacuums shit out of port-a-potty's wants the occasional "good job" from his boss. You are right, mjp. He would have liked the knowledge that the forum was here, but probably would not have visited it...

Bill
 
Oh, I definitely think fancyladd went off on a tangent before he had read much here. I don't see how you could look at what has been discussed here overall and come to the conclusion that it's some sort of fan site engaging in hero worship. I think it's about 10% worship and 90% everything else, and that seems to be a damn fine balance so far.
 
great output

I really like that the people on this forum are willing to spend a little extra time and put in thoughtful replies to aid in the understanding of the meaning of the other users. Too often things like this would be shut down very quickly with a "eat a bowl of dicks" type comment but instead it turns into a conversation.
I do think that the left handed topic was sort of wierd and I wasn't really that interested but it was getting a little slow around here so it's understandable, like it was said earlier if you don't like it, don't read and comment.
Who would have thought that Bob Dylan and Bukowski would be compared and thought to have an answer as to who the better artist was. whoa.
 
Have you ever read Dylan's Tarantula? Oh, man, that's the worst POC he ever wrote :D Besides, the man can't sing anymore, though I admit his latest ouput -the last 2-3 albums?- is quite decent.

sure, fancyladd didn't read all the old threads, I don't expect a newbie to read them all. Hell, I guess most charter members haven't read them all either.

as to trivial, banal stuff -was B left handed? was B bisexual?- you don't want to overlook it. sometimes you find little gems buried in those apparently boring, off the wall threads.

I hate people who are always writing "profound", trascendent stuff and mocking at those who write more day-to-day things. I get this feeling they think they're superior somehow to the rest of poor, downtrodden creatures.
 
I once asked Bukowski what he thought of Dylan and he said he couldn't stand the guy and his whiney voice. I love them both as artists. Both are flawed human beings; Buk probably moreso than Dylan, but that's just an opinion formed on second-hand information. Left-handed? Right-handed? I dunno...

David
 
fancyladd said:
[...] it seems that some people here, definitely not all or even the majority for that matter, seem to idolize him without question.

[...] for me, Dylan is more poetic in the way he employs a lot of poetic devices while Bukowski is usually raw and direct, more of an animal, if you will, attacking the page. but i do believe that Bukowski could appreciate Dylan's talent. i mean, how could you not?
Ahhh but there you go yourself, idolizing a definition of the term POETIC and LYRICAL "without question". The "poetic devices" you so admire in Dylan's lines (not the ones he took from blues and folk music!), are just a couple of hundred years old. They showed up in the "romantic" era of the 1800's and have been reused and refined since. Before that there were tons of other "devices" used in "poetry", my friend. Somewhere along the line "poetry" turned into romantic, modernistic, symbolist dreamery. Thats all very fine, and there are some nice pieces written in that style (Baudelaire - YES!), but going back past the 1800s you'll discover plenty of poems with a more down to earth feel. Ever read the Norse (viking) poetry of Iceland & Norway for example?

I'm one with the great romantic poet, Goethe, who said something like "Poetry here and poetry there, I'm writing German, thats all!"

Dylan is fine, but he lets himself off too easy. Writing "easy" is the hard trick.
Dylan's lines totally lack humor. Give me Leonard Cohen any day (ahem). I think Dylan hit fame too early and retreated, tail between legs, into his surrealistic party tricks. Though he has loosened up nicely, with time. He comes thru very down to earth in the new DVD. I like the anecdote were he says: "Imagine, years from now they'll try to understand this song, and I don't even have a clue myself what its about!"
Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Dylan?
(Gawd dang! This addictive site has got me up past my bed time again!)
 
Man, I don't understand why people feel compelled to weigh in on the relevance of the left-handed thread. Who knew it would be the lightning rod issue of our times? Ha.

It interested me because It never occurred to me to look at which hand Bukowski wrote with. It's as relevant as any other discussion. They're all relevant.

As for it being "slow around here," that's to be expected before a long holiday weekend, and over the summer in general. That's the way the internet bounces.

Okay, I've got to go start a thread about what kind of socks Bukowski wore. And if any of you pricks question its validity, I'll cut you off at the knees, dig?!

;)
 
well it seems that i've stirred something up around here a little. i guess i'm not surprised. anyways, i just want to make it clear that i don't believe dylan was a better artist than buk. the two can't truely be compared. however, to address the notion that lyrics and poetry are vastly different, i don't believe this to be true. if you take some of dylan's work away from the music and just read it off the page it still stands up. the truth is dylan is not an idol to me. i was simply using him as an example because i believe he was mentioned earlier in the thread. and to furthur explain my opinion that dylan was a better poet than buk, what i mean is that buk's poetry, for the most part, is identical to his prose, he just broke up the
text a lot
more
like
this.
to me, it seems a bit pretentious to simply call anything you write a "poem" because you've shortened the lines up.
i know you guys are going to hate me for this but so be it. this is my opinion and i feel like sharing it. i want to make it clear that i am an admirer of bukowski's work and the fact that i maybe criticising him doesn't make me any less of one.
 
to break the lines in an artfully artless way is simply beyond most people skills. I don't hate you for saying that B's poetry was just his prose broken up into lines because that's a pretty common vision, especially among those ones who have read only the tip of B's iceberg.
 
Hi,
If you read masterpieces like Genius of the Crowd, you will se that this is not the case. Also, for the record, you are right. Lyrics and poetry can be similar. They are in Dylan's case. Some of his earlier stuff is excellent.

However, trying to write lyrics on paper and call them poems does not work. I wish that it did. There are some damn fine poetic songs that don't work when read without music...


Bill

p.s. I don't think that anyone hates you. We just seem to disagree a bit...
 
Bill,

I'm sorry to say that "The Genius of the Crowd" is not on my top B list. As they say, it's not my cup of tea. There are some good lines there, but I find it way too obvious. It takes too long to say too little and, besides, there's not a lot of rhythm to it. "The Day I Kicked Away a Bankroll" is a good example of an early rhythmic poem.

There are a lot of shorter poems saying much more and much more beautifully, such as "I Met a Genius", which was also written in the mid 60's.
 
fancyladd said:
buk's poetry, for the most part, is identical to his prose, he just broke up the
text a lot
more
like
this.
Again, read the earlier work. To me there are three distinct phases to Bukowski's poetry, and you only seem to be familiar with the last one.
 
actually i just read "genius of the crowd" --well reread to be more accurate (i had read it previously several years ago)--and i feel compelled to say that that is precisedly the type of stuff that makes bukowski great. now that is a poem. it isnt merely an anecdote, or how he's up at 4am writing a poem and drinking and smoking and looking at his toenails. it has a great cadence and flow to it and it is imaginative and abstract and, most importantly, conveys wisdom and truth and insight. that is the kind of stuff that attracted me to bukowski in the first place.....last night i was rereading the collection "bone palace ballet" and the problem with many of these poems are that they are either mere anecdotes or they are about him writing a poem. having said this, there are some gems contained within the pages, to wit "bone palace ballet."
 
bospress.net said:
Also, for the record, you are right. Lyrics and poetry can be similar. They are in Dylan's case. Some of his earlier stuff is excellent.
See "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" off of Freewheelin' for a great example of Dylan's early poetic lyrics. And if you watch Scorsese's No Direction Home part I, you can see Allen Ginsberg say that he wept when he first heard this song "because [he] felt the torch had been passed to a new generation."
 
Oh, I don't know if he was. I was just trying to be funny.

I saw a Ginsberg reading at McCabe's guitar shop in west L.A., and I went in with an open mind, but truth be told, he was really fucking boring. He played an autoharp most of the time and I wanted to kill myself about halfway through.
 
bospress.net said:
...I once had to fire an employee after he threatened to to grave bodily harm to another employee. What was this argument about? A fight over a girl? No. A fight over who's Momma was fatter? no. Employee A wanted employee B to admit that The Grateful Dead was the BEST BAND EVER. This discussion degenerated into threats.

Those deadheads are known to be a dangerous and violent lot. :)
 

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