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December 27th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 282,504 comments.
Analysis and comments on Somebody by Charles Bukowski

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Comment 19 of 329, added on July 8th, 2009 at 7:21 PM.

Just look at the array of divided concepts! This poem definitely
places a lot of importance on our connotation of the word "rape," but many
of the commenters seem to be doing this at expense of the rest of the
language surrounding in it the poem.
I personally don't see him clearly specifying anywhere whether he's
raping the "woman" in the poem or himself. It begins on the tone of his
sadness immediately followed by the woman wanting to know who he really is,
in that he sees himself as "Charles Bukowski," yet isn't able to realize
this true sense of identity with her. He merely fulfills his desire and
becomes only a "Charles Somebody," somebody being anyone other than who he
really is.
This poem in particular seems to be shot at by many contemporary poets
and critics of Bukowski's output. The super-personal nature of it isn't
meant to be autobiography. It's fiction. It's interpretative. That people
would judge the merit of a poet's skill based on shallowly perceived
"facts" of their life (without ever personally knowing anything about the
poet) seems to me to be contradictory to the entire art of what we
conveniently label "poetry."

Boo
Comment 18 of 329, added on February 26th, 2008 at 1:19 AM.

Preved dyatlam!

Jenna from USA
Comment 17 of 329, added on August 30th, 2007 at 3:39 PM.

I am in awe. The general misunderstandings of sheep overwhelmed by a
compulsion to comment on something they clearly didnt take the time or
effort to understand scares me. And somehow they have drivers licences',
and even worse, they procreate.


mark from United States
Comment 16 of 329, added on August 6th, 2007 at 3:06 AM.

First, Bukowski was a known misogynist, as well as an alcoholic, and the
chances are very good this is based on some, perhaps many, first hand
experiences. Bukowski was arrested on charges of rape at least once in his
life (as he has mentioned in various interviews), but the charges were
dropped. Of course, we all know that this does not mean that he didn't
rape anyone. Sadly, I am almost sure that he did. It is a sign of the
society we live in that such things happen to women every single day, to
our mothers, sisters, daughters, all while the problem is quietly swept up
and ignored. Bukowski has a serious problem and this should not be ignored
simply because he wrote well.

Secondly, Bukowski was a great writer. That he was never accepted by "the
academics" is wholly irrelevant. He had a directness, a way of cutting
through all metaphors and pretention straight to the heart of whatever he
was writing about in a way that has seldom been matched. Academics don't
like him, not because he wrote often about drinking, gambling, poverty,
sex, and the like---the don't like him because they think poetry should be
above the common man---not for him. I happen to think they are wrong on
this, and detest most of the poetry they write and endorse. Bukowski had a
style that was certainly admirable, and unique. I happen to think he was
one of the finest writers of the last century.

However, how you reconcile those facts with the reality of his obvious
shortcomings is difficult, and up to each on his or her own to decide. I
think it is important not to idolize the man. Admire his writing, but
recognize his shortcomings. Rape is a very serious problem, the derogatory
treatment of women one of the greatest injustices in the history of
humanity, and we would do well to keep this in mind. Even as we read and
admire writers of the past.

Michael from United States
Comment 15 of 329, added on June 22nd, 2007 at 8:20 AM.

great poem.

ronny from United Kingdom
Comment 14 of 329, added on May 11th, 2007 at 10:18 AM.

While, yes, it's silly and ignorant that some in these comments are upset
about Bukowski posting this on the internet because he clearly could not do
so, being upset at his blatant misogyny is not silly. If anyone in
contemporary poetry is a bastard whose demeaning depictions of women are
influential and damaging to the reader, it's Bukowski. He may not indeed
care what I think, but it does not prevent me as a reader from critiquing
the systems of portrayal he develops. Such dismissal of the female just so
this supposed "poor toertured soul" can "finally feel something" is
offensive and cliche.

Honestly, though, he's not worth most serious readers' time. He is
pop-poetry being enjoyed by the mediocre because he is simple enough for
them to understand--they confuse his bluntness for shocking depth and pat
themselves on the back for relating to his cynicism. Can we finally give up
on praising the ludricrous concept of the lone male genius? Look it up: his
work has been largely ignored by academics, and for a reason. Spouting
misogynist bullshit doesn't make a poet worthy of our time.

Becky from United States
Comment 13 of 329, added on March 24th, 2006 at 8:56 AM.

Oh man, is this joke? How could anyone think that Bukowski cares that they
critisize his rape of someone? I promise you two things: You totally
misread the poem and he really doesnt care what you think. You should do
some background on this guy, he is really amazing. Also, maybe you should
take a class on how to read poetry.

Colette from United States
Comment 12 of 329, added on March 16th, 2006 at 10:38 AM.

Buk uses rape for it's dramatic clause not as a term for forced sex. Sex
with someone with whom your not in love with may as well be rape in the
poet eyes. Besides buk could rape most modern poets and his cock would be
the most creative thing in them.

mark from United States
Comment 11 of 329, added on December 28th, 2005 at 12:33 AM.

Are you people actually serious? Charles Bukowski wrote this poem before
all of you were born. And even if he did rape someone(which he didn't) the
point of the poem is that rape is something that causes powerful emotions
in people. This makes it the perfect candidate for poetry, because after
all, the best poems aren't about the fucking red rose, they are about the
serious emotions that we all feel. It is power like that which the poem
posesses that caused Bukowski to be regarded as one of the greatest poets
in the 20th century.

Tyler from United States
Comment 10 of 329, added on December 26th, 2005 at 6:14 PM.

stupidity. if any of the people who posted comments about this poem has
ever read anything before in thier lives i would be very shocked and
disappointed. the key to poetry is NOT TAKING IT LITERALY YOU MUST READ
BETWEEN THE LINES. NO BUKOWSKI DIDN'T RAPE THE FUCKING GIRL SHE WAS OVER AT
HIS APARTMENT AND PROBABLY WANTED TO FUCK HIM MORE THEN HE DID HER. RAPE IS
NOT A FUNNY THING BUT IT IS VERY REAL. IN THIS POEM BUKOWSKI IS USING THE
WORD RAPE FIGURATIVELY DESCRIBING THE TYPE OF SEX (CONSENTUAL SEX) HE IS
ABOUT TO HAVE WITH THIS GIRL. the poem is raw and real and about animal
instinct not a felony crime, read some more about this author he might
change your life and the way you read. that is if you learn how to
read.............

jessica from United States

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Information about Somebody

Poet: Charles Bukowski
Poem: Somebody
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 39 times
Poem of the Day: Oct 20 2013


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