Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

Charles Bukowski
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Henry Charles Bukowski was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a "laureate of American lowlife". Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, "the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.''
    Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), U.S. author, poet. Notes From a Dirty Old Man (1969).
  • ''The pest, in a sense, is a very superior being to us: he knows where to find us and how—usually in the bath or in sexual intercourse or asleep.''
    Charles Bukowski (b. 1920), U.S. author, poet. "Notes on the Pest," Tales of Ordinary Madness (1967).
  • ''You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.''
    Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), U.S. author, poet. "Too Sensitive," Tales of Ordinary Madness (1967).
  • ''Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually clean kitchen, and 8 times out of 9 I'll show you a man with detestable spiritual qualities.''
    Charles Bukowski (b. 1920), U.S. author, poet. "Too Sensitive," Tales of Ordinary Madness (1967).
  • ''“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” ''
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Comments about Charles Bukowski

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  • Georgios Venetopoulos Georgios Venetopoulos (7/13/2016 12:35:00 AM)

    Bukowski is not a poet. He composes under the influence (intoxicated actually) and his writes are illogical and hellish, byproducts of his besotted thinking. Then, his devotees spend millions of minutes to exalt and explain his grandness in arbitrary compositions of ideas which follow the philosophy of whatever. Bukowski does not comprehend what 'verse means', his knowledge of the English language is elementary, his grammar is faulty but overall he manages to create an army of admirers who drink like him, compose like him and spit at the world like him.

  • Is It Poetry Is It Poetry (6/6/2016 6:20:00 PM)

    Dirty Dog - Poem by Is It Poetry

    His dirty dog kept
    moving on.
    Pissing on what he liked,
    but never owned.
    He knows they won't
    like it either.
    So they throw it out.
    A dog, 'Bukowski' owned.


    Is It Poetry

  • John Davis (5/23/2016 12:15:00 PM)

    I love Bukowski. The nearest poet I've found to his style is a guy called Jim Sparx. He has a website called bullet2theskull.

  • Thomas Case Thomas Case (12/20/2015 9:43:00 PM)

    a genius and a fantastic poet. He takes the mundane and makes it a dark thrill ride.

  • R G Fritz R G Fritz (11/1/2015 10:41:00 PM)

    It is strange, Bukowski swears by his alcohol to create his art. He NEVER wrote without it. Dylan Thomas, however, never drank when he worked. I suppose everybody's creative process is different. I chain smoke when I write. I wonder if anyone else does...

  • Denis Mair Denis Mair (9/7/2015 5:50:00 PM)

    Does anyone know where to find Bukowski's poem about watching a bullfight on television in a bar? An ordinary barroom afternoon, desultory conversation, desultory TV gazing, and then suddenly he is gripped and gut-wrenched by this ritual of death.

  • Li Po (2/9/2015 3:33:00 AM)

    Today I was reading Bukowski poems. As the sparrow, My first affair with that older women, Death wants more death, Something for the touts, nuns, the grocery clerks and you, Freedom. Some say that sparrow it's all about life and death circle - like a fucking lion king.It's not! It's about yours miserable lives, lives without any purpose, life where all you want to be is young - because you don't want to fight with yourself. You want to postponed life like some post it on the fridge that lies there forever.You can't do that.It gets you.eventually.it causes mutilated people.Dear HUMANITY I did nothing. I just watched you and wrote what you've done yourself.And I? I was old when it would have taken less courage to be young, I cried when it would have taken less courage to laugh (a smile to remember - remember that smile how NOT to smile ever!) and I hated you ONLY when it would have taken less courage to love.I can not love you if you are harming yourself; that means that I approve. That I approve you shitting your life with anger, bitterness, despair. IT TAKES LESS COURAGE TO LOVE HUMANITY AS IT IS THAN TO HATE. Freedom is not about SEX it is about LOVE! . It's easier to live life without emotions.You need to have BALLS to love fully someone like I did Jane. I knew she was weak but I loved her anyway.I drank alone for two years after she died. You? You don't even remember why did you marry her/him.
    Can't you see. you are not able to love. you think you do but you don't. You don't let love kill you. You worship yourself on selfish level. You don't let anybody hurt you. Noooo..you are too important to be killed by love, you know better! ..(..You know shit) . so.... you know better and you let yourself to be killed by money, million likes, million followers, fashion, luxury, hollywood, fame. everybodyisenvyatmesickness. I know some man who resent me for buying 2 bmw cars. stupid fucks. what do you think is changed? Are you worried about my soul? You think I've sold out? What's the difference? One who does NOT have soul, it is going to give away to luxuries, one who HAS a soul it is going to continue. You can't be sold out if you have soul. it is so easy to fail. My luck is that it happened too much too late. I was smart enough don't worry about my soul.worry about yours bringing up the family as the victory soul.worry about your false revolutionary soul, worry about the life you give away, don't worry about my soul.you don't believe me? Read some of my poems...but with heart this time.

  • Nicole Smith (11/11/2014 11:47:00 AM)

    Hoping you'll be able to help me.
    My friends favourite quote is we are all searching for someone whose demons plays well with ours. and I have not been able to find if this is from a Bukowski book or poem. Would anyone be able to help me?

    Many thanks! !
    -Nicole

  • Dan Reynolds Dan Reynolds (9/23/2014 7:32:00 AM)

    You show some promise, but the archaic language lets you down. Try to read some good contemporary poets and expand your thoughts without the restriction of form.

  • Precious Jones (7/11/2014 3:33:00 PM)

    Greetings To You
    My name is precious I gone through your profile and
    it is quite interesting to me,

Read all 42 comments »
Best Poem of Charles Bukowski

A Smile To Remember

we had goldfish and they circled around and around
in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
covering the picture window and
my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
to be happy, told me, 'be happy Henry!'
and she was right: it's better to be happy if you
can
but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while
raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn't
understand what was attacking him from within.

my mother, poor fish,
wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a
week, telling me to be happy: 'Henry, ...

Read the full of A Smile To Remember
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