I met a genius on the train
about 6 years old,
he sat beside me
and as the train
ran down along the coast
we came to the ocean
and then he looked at me
and said,
it’s not pretty.

it was the first time I’d

Analysis, meaning and summary of Charles Bukowski's poem I Met A Genius


  1. A K A says:

    The message in the poem is that considering the 6-year-old kid was a genius Bukowski
    contains instant expectations for assuming that the kid is right considering the kid is a “genius”. sticking with only having his own opinion or Thoughts about it may consider that he never has heard anybody else’s opinion besides himself. Also how society is known with all this global warming before the 6-year-old kid was born the oceans were most likely cleaner, less polluted looking and safer. This concludes this kid never has seen a clean ocean before and has never even had a chance to mention any positive compliments about the ocean. Considering the affected and corrupted environment we have this 6-year-old kid may never be able to see a clean ocean in his lifetime and instead, watch it as it becomes more polluted and dangerous until it becomes no longer safe to anything.

    The 6-year-old kid is also the next generation person while Bukowski is born in the past generation considering he may be most likely an adult. Since Bukowski’s Generation has passed he may also look up to the next generation to see what they shall, later on, commit into the future. Since the kid actually afterwards put common sense into Bukowski he finally acknowledged what the Ocean has become in the past years. Bukowski might also feel embarrassment and ashamed after what occurred to these kid’s futures and lives since the people in Bukowski’s timeline Ruined it with pollution for the future generation which is the kid. Though the main message of this poem concludes in which instead of listening to himself overthinking and becoming too sure of his own opinion for being “Right” instead Bukowski Obtains somebody else’s opinion making him after rethink that certain expression considering there are 2 brains instead of 1.

  2. Chris says:

    I think, in slight extension to the analysis by D. Deubelbeiss, that Bukowski is pointing to the amount of knowledge and expectation that we inherit from social contexts.
    To a point, the speaker of the poem is being almost ironic. The child says the ocean isnt pretty and because he never thought of it that way, he instantly agrees. He still isnt forming his own opinion.
    We need to form our own opinions about everything as human beings. Questioning all of our pre-loaded social knowledge and expectation is an important part of our lives and understanding.

  3. D. Deubelbeiss says:

    Genius, pure genius….sparce and economical, to the point without saying ” look at me”….like the poem itself, pure genius.

    Meaning, all poet is of truth and to be as truth we must be as children again……we live in a fog, do we really have the courage to rebuild and be ourselves, to start anew and go unto new shores like Christopher Columbuses? Can we be the genius , the geniuses of forgetting? Can we all say to ourselves one day awakening and born anew, “I never knew that”?


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