Your Favourite Poem - written & read by Bukowski.

Andreas

Over 100 posts
I like Bukowski's last reading in Redondo Beach, a lot, not only because of the poems he recited but also because of his talk
in between ("Help the hostages! They're suffering! I wish I could read my poetry to the poor hostages right now!")
Here's one of the poems from Redondo, What Have I Seen, which has been published and - big surprise -
changed posthumously.

 

BukFan Brad

Over 100 posts
Great choice, 'Ghado'! I remember that one from 'Born Into This'. I never thought the Buk weeped! What a big softy!

Another one:


 

Andreas

Over 100 posts
More than half of Style has been removed in 'Mockingbird wish me luck'.
If you listen to the poem above, the Mockingbird-version comes across like a man's haircut after joining the army.
Thanks for posting this, Brad.

What do experts like Roni or MJP say?
Is such a radical change of a poem that has been published during Bukowski's lifetime just an isolated case?
 
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mjp

Your Host
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Founding member
Over 5000 posts
He read from manuscripts, but I wouldn't necessarily hold those performances to comparison with the published versions. He strayed sometimes, and he could change things up.

Removing half a poem is very different from changing or adding to a poem. Had Martin put away his fountain pen and picked up a scissors instead, I don't think we'd be having this conversation.
 

Andreas

Over 100 posts
Removing half a poem is very different from changing or adding to a poem.
You're right, to add your own words and sell the whole thing as Bukowski's poetry, that's quite another level of editing. Nobody wants that shit.

Nonetheless, I miss all those dog- and men in jail- parts in the Mockingbird-version of Style.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
More than half of Style has been removed in 'Mockingbird wish me luck'[...]
right and that is remarkable.
at the time I first realized that (2001), none of us had the slightest idea about the JM-fraud, so I did reflect about it but not expecting someone else having done it to the poem.

There's another reading of this poem in 'The Bukowski Tapes' and he uses the book-version. No sign there that he'd disapprove that version. And just as interesting: after reading the poem, he goes on talking free about the subject matter and everything he says could have perfectly been an intended part of the poem.

Maybe he just felt pretty free about the form and possibilities of that particular poem, which - of course - is exactly what it is about. I'd like to hear him reading it at other occations.
 
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