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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crap passing off as Poetry

Jean Genet said Charles Bukowski was the best poet in America. That doesn't say much for the rest of them! I just picked up 'Come On In!' New Poems (Canongate, 2008) by Buk, from the Bassendean library, a collection of poems unpublished at the time of his death. & they should have stayed that way. They are threadbare of any literary value and are just plain bloody awful. I've liked the occasional Buk poem before, and enjoyed the quick sprint through a couple of his easy-to-read novels, but this stuff shows no technique and little thought worth reading. So it is simply there as profit-making product. I see the shelves at my favourite bookshop, Planet Books in Mt Lawley, are full of Buk's books. Maybe the profit from the sale of that shit pays for the slow movers - like Herbert and Lorca, etc. Buk sells well, which goes to prove our education system teachers people to read but not enough to discriminate.
The wild man image still works in rock'n'roll (and has taken many lives) but the wild (wo)man poet image is passe at best.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew, you are right in that anything "by" Bukowski published posthumously is crap. Buk used to write about 20 poems per night, fifteen of which would be screwed up and thrown on the floor. However, the collections he allowed out during his life are raw and genuine, this is why his books still appear on shelves today, he removed all the academic pontificating and delivered poetry to the people, like Dante and Shakespeare in their time. Any collection published post 1994 should come with a warning on the cover.