Which is your favorite poetry book? (1 Viewer)


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ok, I'll make the lamest question ever: which is your favourite poetry book?

I know, I know, there's a lot of good unpublished stuff, many of the published poems are shitty, Martin is a good editor but not always, etc. So which is your favourite poetry book as it is? I mean, don't say "Love Is a Dog from Hell" without the first part or "What Matters Most..." but shorter, etc.

ok, today -tomorrow I might change my mind- is Burning in Water... from the early stage and Last Night... from the late stage.
In Poland we have only 3 poetry books.
Love is a dog from hell, Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame and Sifting through the madness.... At spring Noir Sur Blanc want public next book with poems, but I don't know what it will be.
Ah, this one's easy for me; Dangling in the Tournefortia. I read the whole thing in one sitting. There was one amazing stretch of 20 or so poems -- I put down the book and thought, "...damn, every one of these has been really good..." and it still holds up.

As far as earlier work, I had the same feeling reading the Bukowski section of the Penguin Modern Poets series. Every one a winner. Most of the poems were cherry picked from It Catches My Heart In Its Hands and Crucifix in a Deathhand. The Penguin book is kind of a "Best of LouJon," and it's really strong.
Love is a dog from hell, and Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Insturment Untill the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit (just for Fire Station) i love that poem.

EDIT: I take that back. My favorite poetry book at this moment is: The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems 1946 - 1966
My favorites in this book are:
The Genius Of The Crowd
Old Man Dead In A Room
Love Is a Piece Of Paper Torn To Bits
Farewell, Foolish Objects
Buffalo Bill

Buk's ladder work will never compare to his early stuff.
Is it just me, and I'm sure it isn't but Women totally coincides with Love Is A Dog From Hell. You can match up a lot of the poems with certain parts in the novel. And if you question this, read them one after the other and see what I mean.
And, sorry for the double post but what poetry book does Songs For Sadist Without A Place To Sit Down appear in? I'm sure somebody know's. That's my alltime favorite poem.
a song for sadists with a place to sit down
It Catches My Heart In Its Hands - pg. 65 - 1963

All you have to do is click on "Database" over there to the left and you can search for things like this.
I did that but it came up no match.
sorry, maybe I typed it in wrong but I thought it was
A Song For Sadists Without A Place To Sit Down
if you don't know the title exactly, just type in any key word -"sadists" in this case- and the database will list you all the poems containing that key word in the title.
Too many good ones to choose a best.
I know there's some lapse in the quality of the later collections, but I would not be without any of them.
I want them all!

But for the sake of the thread - Dangling in the Tournefortia. My first :o
So far in my rather small collection, I'd say Love is a Dog From Hell. I also love The Captain is Out to Lunch, don't ask why, I guess I'm a sucker for autobiographic material & and diaries of people whose work I admire.
I've been rotating his collections for years! Some other works in between from other authors, but it seem I always come back to same stuff? Even when I visit bookstores somehow end-up at his isle. What;s up with that?
Love Is A Dog From Hell is my favorite when I'm having Women troubles. Its weird really, for everything that happens in life, theres always something by Buk that you can read, relate to it, and feel better afterwards. crazy huh?
In his introduction to Burning he writes:

"...for my critics, readers, friends, enemies, ex-lovers and new lovers, the present volume along with Days and Mockingbird contain what I like to consider my best work written..."

I definitely go along with that - and would only add one of the later ones to go with them: You Get So Alone - God! That's quite a piece! (I wonder no one has mentioned it in this thread so far. In my opp it beats even 'Last Night'.)

Sure, the later collections tended to be bigger than 'Burning', 'Days' and 'Mockingbird', so they had probably more good ones (AND more bad ones) by number in them. But as art-works in the Whole, I'd go with these four.
1996. Somewhere in Europe. Neil Young and Crazy Horse blasting their classics away. End of a song. Applause. A guy from the audience shouts:
"They all sound the same"
To which Neil Young replies right away:
"It's all one song".

Same thing with B. It's all one poem.
It's impossible to pick just one, but if you were to put a gun to my head and make me pick one I'd say......pull the trigger. No, no, just kidding. I'll go with The Last Night Of the Earth Poems. I want to be buried with that clutched in my hands.
1996. Somewhere in Europe. Neil Young and Crazy Horse blasting their classics away. End of a song. Applause. A guy from the audience shouts:
"They all sound the same"
To which Neil Young replies right away:
"It's all one song".

Same thing with B. It's all one poem.

Funny, I was about to make that point- it's hard to distinguish book from book (having read snippets of multiple volumes)- they all have the same feel and theme. It's a lot like jazzmen, Coltrane will give you Coltrane, Bird will give you Bird... hey Kafka!
i can't pick a favorite... i tend to like the more prose-style poems best (and there are more of those in the early work), but some of the stuff in the posthumous collections just blows my mind... the poems in open all night about jane's death come to mind here. i like all of them- i just ordered bone palace ballet, and i can't wait to read it. it's an unending buffet for me.
and hell, then there are the letters - some of them are poetry smeared across the page. I would never be without the three white books of letters.

Burning in Water and Roominghouse would be my most oft read - so I guess it's back to all of the bloody books. No favorites... like children.
To use a horse racing metaphor, I would have to declare a dead-heat between "Mockingbird Wish Me Luck" and "Burning In Water Drowning In Flame".
burning in water

my burning in water doesn't have duct tape
on it yet like war all the time but almost needs it .
speaking of which,playing the piano needs some
tape on the cover too.guess those three have
been read the most.
does that mean they're my favorite? or that i should
buy the hard covers?
I've been on the move the past twelve years or so (mainly Asia) and by neccesity have to travel light so although I agree with some posters that there are too many greats to choose a best I always carry with me You Get So Alone as well as (and don't shoot me down) Run With The Hunted - the collection.
Along with Buk I always have Pessoa, Dylan T. and Jim Harrison.
Disclaimer: I'm not counting any of the "John Martinized" posthumously published collections here, because of how he despicably mangled them. Now, on to better things!

I haven't read every single published collection of Buk's poems yet (working on it), but of the several that I have read, my favorite one is still the one which first introduced me to Bukowski: The Last Night of the Earth Poems. There is so, so much great work in that one collection!

My least favorite, at this point, is War All The Time. This doesn't mean that I haven't enjoyed it at all, but overall, the number of great, or very good, poems in this one seems to be much lesser (to me, of course) than in many of his other poetry books. Maybe I just need to spend more time with it?

What are your favorite and least favorite Buk poetry books?
Last Night of the Earth Poems is one of my favorites. I used to think it was such a "comeback" book from him, until I learned that Black Sparrow books contained poems from many different years. Still, I Iove that book.
If you happen to know, do even his later (1980s-90s) poetry books contain poems from, say, the '60s or '70s?

I was under the impression that, at least while he was alive, each newly published book of poems was made up, either mostly or entirely, of poems that had been written since the last published poetry collection. If I've been mistaken in that impression for all the years that I've been reading Buk, I would definitely want to know! It could lead to my reading, and thinking about, some of his poetry quite differently (not in a better or worse way-- just differently).
Yeah, The later stuff Last Night & Sept Stew are favorites. But I also like Roominghouse and am fascinated by its fine example of his early poetry. Their raw 1st take/2nd take quality is compelling. But then again, I find that the wonderful thing about most of Buk's work is that it begs to be read and re-read and there's a joy in the constant discovery and re-discovery of diamonds among the coal.
I fully agree. His early and late poetry collections are so wonderful and re-readable. They are written, largely, in such different styles, but I appreciate them equally, respectively speaking, for the early, angry-yet-beautiful, lyricism and for the later, very direct, plainspokenness. I still need to check out Septuagenrarian Stew. Thanks for the recommendation!
But I also like Roominghouse and am fascinated by its fine example of his early poetry
Unfortunately, 'its fine example of his early poetry' had been screwed up a bit.

You should try Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame. The book was released in 1974, and it covers the years 1955-73. Poems from three legendary out-of-print books.There's also a nice foreword by the author.

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