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The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems 1946-1966 Paperback – May 31, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

These poems, gathered from the prolific poet's early, out-of-print, and now scarce pamphlets, come on the heels of his screenplay success, Barfly . In the poet's opinion, "The early poems are more lyrical," but readers may find it hard to spot much diversity in Bukowski's 40 years' output; his work, whether poetry, fiction, or drama, has remained thematically stagnant. The language is a bit less ostentatious than in later work, permitting a gentle and often self-mocking humor to emerge: "if I am a fly I'll never know/ what a lion really is." Other poems reveal an innate sensitivity to people, especially women, which Bukowski has apparently attempted to mask in more recent work. Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," N.Y.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

. . . American Express, Athens, Greece
10 Lions And The End Of The World
2 Outside, As Bones Break In My Kitchen
22,000 Dollars In 3 Months
35 Seconds
3:30 A.m. Conversation
4:30 A.m
6 A.m
86'd
9 Rings
About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter
All I Know
Anthony
The Ants
As I Lay Dying
The Beast
The Best Way To Get Famous Is To Run Away
Big Bastard With A Sword
The Blackbirds Are Rough Today
Brave Bull
Breakout
Bring Down The Beams
Buffalo Bill
Conversation In A Cheap Room
A Conversation On Morality, Eternity And Copulation
Counsel
Countryside
Cows In Art Class
The Day I Kicked Away A Bankroll
Dear Friend
Death Wants More Death
Destroying Beauty
The Dogs
The Dogs Of Egypt
Dow Jones: Down
Eat
Eaten By Butterflies
An Empire Of Coins
The End
Everything
Experience
Face While Shaving
A Farewell Thing While Breathing
Farewell, Foolish Objects
Fleg
Fragile
Freedom: The Unmolested Eagle Of Myself
Friendly Advice To A Lot Of Young Men
The Genius Of The Crowd
The Gift
Goldfish
The Gypsies Near Del Mar
Hangover And Sick Leave
Hello, Willie Shoemaker
The High-rise Of The New World
Horse On Fire
I Am Visited By An Editor And A Poet
I Am With The Roots Of Flowers
I Cannot Stand Tears
I Don't Need A Bedsheet With Slits For Eyes To Kill You In
I Have Lived In England
I Kneel
I Wait In The White Rain
I Was Born To Hustle Roses Down The Avenues Of The Dead
I Write This Upon The Last Drink's Hammer
Imbecile Night
Insomnia
Interviewed By A Guggenheim Recipient
It's Not Who Lived Here
It's Nothing To Laugh About
Itch, Come And Gone
The Japanese Wife
A Kind Of Lecture On A Dull Day When There Isn't Even A Fly .. To Kill
The Kings Are Gone
Layover
Letter From The North
The Literary Life
The Look
The Loser
Love Is A Piece Of Paper Torn To Bits
The Man With The Hot Nose
Mercy, Wherever You Are, Come Running In To Me & Grab Me In Your Arms
The Mexican Girls
The Millionaire
A Minor Impulse To Complain
Monday Beach, Cold Day
Mother And Son
The New Place
A Nice Place
The Night They Took Whitey
Not Quite So Soon
Notations From A Muddled Indolence
Nothing Subtle
O, We Are The Outcasts
Object Lesson
Old Man Dead In A Room
On A Night You Don't Sleep
On Going Back To The Street After Viewing An Art Show
On Seeing An Old Civil War Painting With My Love
On The Failure Of A Poet
One Hundred And Ninety-nine Pounds Of Clay Leaning Forward
One Night Stand
Pansies
Parts Of An Opera, Parts Of A Guitar, Part Of Nowhere
Poem For Liz
Poem For My 43rd Birthday
Poem To A Most Affectionate Lady
Practice
A Rat Rises
Regard Me
A Report Upon The Consumption Of Myself
Reprieve And Admixture
Reunion
Rose, Rose
Sad-eyed Mules Of Men
Saying Goodbye To Love
Seahorse
The Simplicity Of Everything In Viet Nam
Singing Is Fire
Sleep
Soiree
Somebody Always Breaking My Dainty Solitude
Spain Sits Like A Hidden Flower In My Coffeepot
Suicide
The Sun Wields Mercy
Sundays Kill More Men Than Bombs
The Swans Walk My Brain In April It Rains
Thank God For Alleys
Thermometer
This
A Trick To Dull Our Bleeding
Very
What To Do With Contributor's Copies
When The Berry Bush Dies I'll Swim Down Green River .. Hair On Fire
Winter Comes To A Lot Of Places In August
With Vengeance Like A Tiger Crawls
A Word On The Quick And Modern Poem-makers
Wrong Number
You Smoke A Cigarette
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder® --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (May 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876857322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876857328
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Bukowski is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, where he lived for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944, when he was twenty-four, and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp (1994).

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bethanie Frank on March 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
So many of my pages are dog eared from marking all the poems that "spoke" to me. I was continually sharing the poems with anyone around me. I think that's what poetry should do. He inspires me to write more and be more observant of the little things. I like the rough edge the poems have. They seem so raw and written with such passion. Check him out if you have never read Bukowski - give it a try.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. S. Lyons on September 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you're a Buk fan you'll want to check out his earlier 'more lyrical' poetry; basically not as raw and hard-hitting as his work in the Seventies and beyond, a bit more fancy word-work involved, but still interesting. If you're not a fan, and prefer all that pretentious abstract imagist poetry, then this is probably the only book by the man that you might like...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Keith Nichols on February 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author observes that these poems are more "lyrical" than his later ones. Indeed, the language is more abstract and deals more with things in general and less directly with the East Hollywood life with which Bukowski is so firmly identified. I find the work enjoyable but less so than the later work because it reminds me of other, more academic poets and doesn't reinforce my concept of the author's uniqueness as based on the later work, which I read first. Maybe I shouldn't have read the later stuff first, although had I read the first stuff first, I might not have bothered to read the later stuff. On its own merits, this is a good book, and Bukowski fans need to read it if only to round out their view of its author's development.
The book is said to contain poems from 1946 to 1966, yet the end note states that Bukowski started writing poetry at age 35, which would be 1955. Exactly why the time span goes back to 1946 is thus not clear to me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hms@capital2.com on March 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. Poems like "layover" and "old man dead in a room" -- and dozens more like them -- offer vintage Buk from the tough old days. Along with The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills, Burning in Water Drowning in Flame and Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, this volume is absolute must reading for any Bukowski fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William D. Tompkins on October 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
if you're a bukowski fan, then this a must read--some poems hit you hard--others not so hard but thats the risk with hk and most often well worth it
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
Like drinking, so it is w/ Bukowski's poetry: it is all a gamble. Some nights the liquor or atmosphere is right and you get good and drunk and feel fine; other nites you get ill and nauseous and spend the early morn puking on the old rug. Some of his poems are excellent, they help one deal w/ this life here; others, well, maybe they should have been used as rolling papers. Still, like drinking, it is time well-spent. We must have endurance and courage to keep on drinking and keep on reading. My hand shakes as I finish...
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