Would you say Bukowski actually wrote these poems? (1 Viewer)

cirerita

Founding member
Both poems remain uncollected as of today. Ed Blair thinks the one from Descant was mis-attributed to Bukowski. It might be possible. When I first read the poem, it sounded unBukowskian to me, and it still does... unless Bukowski was mocking certain literary styles.

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as to the one from Scimitar and Song, I don't know. Someone crossed out Buk's name in the original mag. I can't decipher what the scribblings say, though. If it's actually a Bukowski poem, it's certainly an unusual one.

shelivesinthewindscimitarandsong.jpg
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Very difficult to say for sure. Both seem unbukowskian as you say.

I see Descant was out in 1961 and Scimitar And Song was in 1960 - so if they are the work of Bukowski they're quite early examples, perhaps written in 1959.

There are perhaps more unbukowskian poems in these earlier years than later, when the BSP books started to appear.

My guess would be that the first one isn't by Bukowski and the second one probably isn't. But its not impossible that both are.

:confused:
 
Hmm, they certianly don't have the feel of bukowski, more like an imitation of bukowski, or some one entirely unrelated; perhaps someone wrote them, then atached bukowskis name to them in the hope that they could dupe the reader. Maybe they are early bukowski experiments??
 

mjp

Founding member
If the first one is Bukowski it has to be a parody...but at that point I don't think he would have been sending parodies out for publication. Seems odd that it could be misattributed though, but possible. If Ed Blair calls it misattributed I wouldn't argue with him. Are his other poems in that issue more typical?

But I don't think the second one is so out of character - what about it strikes you as something Bukowski wouldn't write?
 

cirerita

Founding member
yeah, the other two poems from Descant are more bukowskian.

as to the one from Scimitar & Song, it just seems an odd Bukowski poem, that's all. The words he uses, the word order, the way he conveys the ideas, they just don't sound bukowskian. Even the title seems too poetic.
Of course, the fact that his name is crossed out does not help matters ;)
 

ROC

It is what it is
The first one is on page 296 of The People Look Like Flowers.
There, it's called Passage.

I'm fairly certain the other one will show up too.
 

ROC

It is what it is
And who made the decision to change it... and when?
I've often wondered at how Bukowski might have arrived at some of his poem titles. Many of them are superb, some obscure, some humorous and some seemingly throw away.
I am curious about the process; if he wrote the poem and then had to think of a decent title or if, sometimes, a word or phrase popped into his head and a poem quickly followed.
Having read thousands of his poems, my feeling is that the title was of little significance to him.
Certainly not a big 'issue' with him - as it is for those who come after him.

I think he might find the confusion and frustration all a little amusing :)
Didn't he say something like "I'm not on the page you are reading... the book you are reading. I'm on the next page, the next book'.

And now he's ahead of us all.

I mean, what does it matter? Passage or Export?
 
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cirerita

Founding member
personally, I couldn't care less if the poem was titled "Kelp and Bitumen" ;)

but changing titles it's not the best way to keep things tidily classified, if you know what I mean.
 

ROC

It is what it is
Well, yes, I know exactly what you mean :)
You couldn't care less unless you were trying to keep things tidly classified. Then you would care quite a lot.

As I said, I think Buk might find this all a bit like pissing up a rope.
 

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