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Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

And The Moon And The Stars And The World


Long walks at night--
that's what good for the soul:
peeking into windows
watching tired housewives
trying to fight off
their beer-maddened husbands.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Rookie Mazhari David (5/21/2014 4:09:00 AM)

    One is having a peaceful nitewalk while others are dealing with their own problems... this is the cruelty of life. For one beauty in this world, how many ugly events? * * (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 261 Points Stephen W (12/28/2012 9:57:00 PM)

    I've lived for years in a slum neighbourhood infested with drunks. I often go for long walks late at night.
    In the city you can't see the stars. I've never looked in a window and seen a drunk chasing his wife about.
    It just doesn't happen. (Report) Reply

    Rookie - 0 Points Hannah R (10/19/2014 7:09:00 AM)

    just because you've never seen it where you lived doesn't mean it doesn't happen. i've lived, quite literally, in the forest my whole life and i've never seen a bear so they just don't exist.

  • Rookie Alistair Plint (11/2/2012 7:51:00 AM)

    i don't think Mr. Buk has issues... i think the subjects (people) in the poem are the ones with the issues... after reading it again and again, i comprehend that Mr. Buk is ripping the abusive husbands up. I think he does a fairly good job of it. I also found the way he used the structure tired housewives and fight off to display a respect of her the CEO of home affairs. Thanks for this Charles, we need people who stand up for these issues, btw, have you met an angel yet? If you do will you ask them to dropp a wallnut on Robert Quilter's head please? *kidding* Al. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Reginald Tyler (4/16/2012 6:45:00 PM)

    You are in the mind of the man. You can't be disappointed or happy about what he says. You can accept it, or not accept it. Its a poem. Its a fleeting moment in time when he had those thoughts. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Roxy Del Mar (3/24/2012 1:05:00 AM)

    Quilter, white trash is NOT glamorous. Not only is your statement fetid classism, as Ms. Fantasy so accurately put it, but considered extremely offensive and racist in the South, if not all the US. And if we're going to be beyond anything, it should be making remarks such as the ones you just did. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Robert Quilter (9/26/2008 3:17:00 PM)

    i think we should be way beyond any arguement that C.Bukowski was a moderate poet.He represented 'marginal' people in the California he knew, and probably a large chunk of the rest of the states.'White trash' as they are sometimes catorgorised and glamorised now. This is stunning, for all the reasons posters have mentioned before and because it means something.It's a real issue for hundreds of thousands maybe millions of people (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ian X (5/3/2008 1:01:00 AM)

    Buk's got more than 'some issues', its the life that molded the clay into a great artist. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Speakman (9/10/2007 6:06:00 AM)

    On first glance Bukowski is a puzzle.Try and write like him though.His economy is awesome.Little words with short sentences that paint the whole picture? Very difficult.Zicky. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Brian Dorn (7/20/2006 4:43:00 PM)

    Interesting spin on the notion of nightly walks being good for the soul... the distant moon and stars contrasted with the hardness of the world in which we live. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sean O''Carroll (5/25/2006 6:39:00 PM)

    I'm very late here. Doesn't Roehl's copy have an uncanny resemblence to a Jim Morrison 'poem? ' No offense, just an observation. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie THE LAST REMNANT OF SANITY BIDS YOU ADIEU (5/12/2006 6:41:00 PM)

    Except for the obvious typos of the person who posted this, this is one of the most remarkable poemettes I've ever read....and silly kids...funny that you'd rewrite a greats' work - but isn't his own work precisely what has made him great? ? ? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Solomon Brook (12/28/2005 1:56:00 PM)

    I'm late, here. But I wish to express my agreement with you Roehl about the structure of poems. I like the example you have there better than whats above. Good review. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nicholas Roehl (8/22/2005 6:49:00 PM)

    In my copy of 'The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills' from Black Sparrow Press (Twenty-Seventh printing) I have this poem as such:

    and the moon and the stars and the world:

    long walks at
    night-
    that's what's good
    for the
    soul:
    peeking into windows
    watching tired
    housewives
    trying to fight
    off
    their beer-maddened
    husbands.

    ###
    Beyond my general pet peeve at erroneous capitalizations added to poems, I think that the differences between this version and the one appearing on the site (I don't know where it is from) are important. The shorter lines and no capitals help the reader understand the feel of the poem easier. This poem shows of much of what makes Bukowski great: there is his focus on small behaviours that point to tipping points, showing how small forgotten lives and emotions can easily get swallowed up by the looming maw of everything. In this poem, and the moon the stars and the world represents the void outside which is subtle and insidious yet still is the force that works (in another poem) as 'outside is the night sealing them together in the tomb'.

    It is perfectly conceivable that there are two or more different versions of this poem in print but I think for the reasons briefly outlined above the sparser version from the days run away gets the meaning of the poem easier and more directly. (Report) Reply

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