if I suffer at this
think how I’d feel
among the lettuce-
pickers of Salinas?
I think of the men
I’ve known in
with no way to
get out-
choking while living
choking while laughing
at Bob Hope or Lucille
Ball while
2 or 3 children beat
tennis balls against
the wall.
some suicides are never

Analysis, meaning and summary of Charles Bukowski's poem The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth


  1. Ryne says:

    I will have to disagree with the first comment. I feel this poem is much more literal than what the first comment brings to the table. The beginning of the poem starts with a questions of self, and then mentions the polarity of lifestyle between himself and the “meek”. If you do a search for the definition of meek you given “overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.” For the poet feels that something makes himself different from the “meek” or the majority, in that he is not as obliging s the rest. In the next line describing the mindless complacency of the populace, he was trying to show that people have lost their humanity through the rigid, thoughtless lifestyle they must live. Thus the poet uses his “typewriter” or his mind to escape the heedless day 9-5 lifestyle the meek must live.

  2. C. says:

    You do not have til physically die, in order to stop living. So many people, zombies drift aimlessly through life; resign demme selves to acting out the motions of work, responsibilities, obligations and polite formalities. But do they REALLY live life? Do YOU really live life? I think what Bukowski was trying to say was, one should not be afraid to drop that boring tuna-fisk sandwich of a so-called life. That one has the choice to posess a life filled med spice, excitment and yes-even danger of failure and the threat of adversity. For those that are struggling in life are oddly enough people of stronger character, than those bankers, lawyers and doctors with 2.5 kids and hauses surrounded with white pickett fences. They are stronger for not being afraid to live life outside the lines;LIFE-with all its challenges.

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