The Last Night of the Earth Poems

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Overview

Poems deal with writing, death and immortality, literature, city life, illness, war, and the past.

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The Last Night of the Earth Poems

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Overview

Poems deal with writing, death and immortality, literature, city life, illness, war, and the past.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
``A. Huxley died at 69/ much too early for such a/ fierce talent.'' Now in his seventh decade, Bukowski is preoccupied with death, but in such a way that he spices his usual flat monotone with bits of welcome humor. While continuing his focus on life in bars and at the racetrack, these poems enlarge the meditative tone begun in You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense ( LJ 1/87). Bukowski remembers the first time he read great authors or heard classical composers; he reflects on old friends, co-workers, and lovers, but with a new gentleness, as in ``Darkling,'' a wonderfully lyric love poem to his wife. Poems such as this make it easier to spot the poetic craft at work behind Bukowski's understated common speech. Finally, the poet's emphasis on reflection and mellowed tone will, one hopes, enlarge the poet's huge but specialized readership.-- Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York
Booknews
How does Bukowski, undoubtedly the most published of contemporary American poets, maintain his integrity among the admirers and sycophants? A: he has no integrity; or B: he only writes about what he knows. Published by Black Sparrow Press, 24 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876858639
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 139,542
  • Product dimensions: 5.87 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Bukowski

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.

Biography

During the course of his long, prolific literary career, Charles Bukowski was known as a poet, novelist, short story writer, and journalist. But it is as a cult figure, an "honorary beat" who chronicled his notorious lifestyle in raw, unflinching poetry and prose, that he is best remembered. Born in the aftermath of World War I to a German mother and an American serviceman of German descent, he was brought to the U.S. at the age of three and raised in Los Angeles. By all accounts, his childhood was lonely and unhappy: His father beat him regularly, and he suffered from debilitating shyness and a severely disfiguring case of acne. By his own admission, he underwent a brief flirtation with the far right, associating as a teenager with Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. After high school, he attended Los Angeles City College for two years, studying art, literature, and journalism before dropping out.

Although two of his stories were published in small literary magazines while he was still in his early 20s, Bukowski became discouraged by his lack of immediate success and gave up writing for ten years. During this time he drifted around the country, working odd jobs; fraternizing with bums, hustlers, and whores; and drinking so excessively that he nearly died of a bleeding ulcer.

In the late 1950s, Bukowski returned to writing, churning out copious amounts of poetry and prose while supporting himself with mind-numbing clerical work in the post office. Encouraged and mentored by Black Sparrow Press publisher John Martin, he finally quit his job in 1969 to concentrate on writing full time. In 1985, he married his longtime girlfriend Linda Lee Beighle. Together they moved to San Pedro, California, where Bukowski began to live a saner, more stable existence. He continued writing until his death from leukemia in 1994, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

Bukowski mined his notorious lifestyle for an oeuvre that was largely autobiographical. In literally thousands of poems, he celebrated the skid row drunks and derelicts of his misspent youth; and, between 1971 and 1989, he penned five novels (Post Office, Factotum, Women, Ham on Rye, and Hollywood) featuring Henry Chinaski, an alcoholic, womanizing, misanthrope he identified as his literary alter ego. (He also wrote the autobiographical screenplay for the 1987 film Barfly, starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.) Yet, for all the shock value of his graphic language and violent, unlovely images, Bukowski's writing retains a startling lyricism. Today, years after his death, he remains one of the 20th century's most influential and widely imitated writers.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      August 16, 1920
    2. Place of Birth:
      Andernach, Germany
    1. Date of Death:
      March 9, 1994
    2. Place of Death:
      San Pedro, California
    1. Education:
      Los Angeles City College, 2 years

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Sensitive Hank

    Bukowski "The Poet" is different from Bukowski "the Short Story Writer". Far more sensitive, reading his poetry is like taking a deeper look at the soul of the drunk man at the end of the bar. Stripped from the adventures narrated in his stories there is just feeling in this man. Reading him is so deliciously real. This selection is highly recomended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderful book of poems

    This was one of Bukowski's final works before his death. I don't feel that it's a book to read cover to cover, maybe something to pick up now and again when you're in the mood for it, but if you have the feeling for it, this book is amazing. I read it in doses every day or two and I'm always struck by his honesty-- this and "Betting On The Muse" are my two favorites from Bukowski-- this book is amazing, buy it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2012

    Enjoyable

    Rude cynical fun and real. May not be every ones cup of tea but truly worth a look

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 7, 2014

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    Posted October 20, 2010

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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    Posted January 11, 2013

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 8 Customer Reviews

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