Ten

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That's the way a response to this thread should look, Ponder. Thanks a lot.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Over 1000 posts
Right. There's always more. The list is indeed endless. I'm just saying I love what you have done with this Ten list thing. ;)
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
The empties original
as if the very searchlights of
hell were upon me​

The empties raped version
as if the very searchlight of
God was focused on me​


The very searchlights of hell
are certainly on one of them.
 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
Over 1000 posts
Here's 10 I've got dog-eared in a few books...hardly an exhaustive top 10.

my father
i met a genius
the way
the fisherman
i can't stay in the same/room with that woman for five minutes
the crunch
my old man
downtown L.A.
about the PEN conference
how's your heart
 
the shower
the genius of the crowd
mockingbird
old man, dead in a room
yes, yes
to the whore who took my poems
for jane
the bluebird
no help for that
grace
 
There are sooo many, an almost impossible task, but I'll try. They come and go, affected by moods and as you grow older and understand lines that you didn't when you were younger. The top few, though, will probably never change:

Face While Shaving
The Underground
Poem for My 43rd Birthday
A Drawer of Fish
Layover
For Jane, With All the Love I Had Which Was Not Enough
Plea to a Passing Maid
Vegas
462-0614
Dead Again
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
It is known, that when Abel was in the process of collecting his "Essential Bukowski", he asked some of us about our opinions for a top-10-list.
Here's what he got from me (including my original annotations then):


- Old Man Dead In A Room
- The Tragedy Of The Leaves

These two belong together (for me) and are the essence of one-third of his whole life (ca 1939-1964)

- The Crunch
"people are not good to each other" – need I say more?

- Dinosauria, We
This one may be obvious as a candidate due to its reception in the public. But it IS an important and valid statement on humanity and the state of mankind from Bukowski's pov, (which I do share concerning the matter).

- Don't Come Round
His need for solitude, in the sense of keeping THE WORLD out, has been articulated many times. This poem is my favorite way of him to tell it. It adds a quality to the subject that the others don't have.

- Beasts Bounding Through Time
He's always been a master of namedropping. And a master of declaring grief. This one combines it.

- The Miracle
Just the other side of the very poem before. The positive side.

- How Is Your Heart
I truly loved the line "what matters most is how well you walk through the fire" from day one, far before a book was named after it. (this first time I've read it was in the German version and it was around 1991.)

- Remains
For me, this is the most moving Jane-poem of them all.

- Forget It
Of all his poems about his own (physical) death, this one is the sure bet for tears. At least in my case it was. I've read it (amongst others) on March 10, 1994 right after the news arrived here and I even started shaking when I came to reading this one crying. It's definitely the final poem for a collection.
 
Great list, Roni. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on each. I'd like to do that with mine, but not sure I can articulate the reasons to my satisfaction. Hard to explain why they cause certain feelings.

Re Remains: yes, I've always like this one, too. When I was younger, that first line rolled around in my head for a long while. Older now, still just as valid. It's a mantra for getting through tough times.
 
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