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. 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.

  2. 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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