4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Refreshingly honest and clear,
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This review is from: The Pleasures of the Damned: Selected Poems 1951-1993 (Paperback)
I haven't read much poetry - it tends to put me off. Usually I find it either over-flowery (anyone from before the 20th Century), obscure - anyone who thinks the totally imprenetrable is somehow profound (almost everyone else) or twee and banal (pointless 'exercises' in poetry by those who've taken classes in it.)
This is different. It's raw, honest, earthy, true, and (mostly) perfectly clear. I take the point about the one word lines - these do become irritating and I wouldn't want to buy a slim volume full of this type of poem - but this is a pretty big collection - nearly 500 pages - and there should be something for everyone. Anyway, it's nice to be able to dip in and read something quickly sometimes, without having to agonise over what it 'means'. It's nice to read poetry that isn't precious and affected. And if it's poetry just because he says it is, well, isn't that true of lots of other poets, and poetry critics?
My one beef about the book is that there's no sense of development, no chronological sequence; the poems from all periods of Bukowski's life are scattered seemingly at random. Whilst it's possible, by looking up a poem in the index, checking which collection it's from, and finding out when that was issued, to get this, it would have made for a more enjoyable read if the poems had been chronological, or at least had dates after them.