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Comment 20 of 105, added on February 12th, 2012 at 4:32 AM.
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Comment 19 of 105, 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
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."
Comment 18 of 105, added on February 26th, 2008 at 1:19 AM.
Comment 17 of 105, 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 105, 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.
from United States
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