The Bukowski Style

Charles Bukowski is known for his simplistic writing style and repetitive subject matter, which can be seen throughout his. He has a free verse style, none of his poems seem to follow the traditional forms of poetry. In the poems A Pleasant Afternoon In Bed and Yes Yes, Bukowski writes using fragmented sentences. In A Pleasant Afternoon In Bed, the verses break off right where a reader would take a moment to breathe. Due to Bukowski’s free writing style, the use of punctuation all up to his own preference. In A Pleasant Afternoon In Bed, punctuation is used heavily as if it was for formal writing. While in Yes Yes, punctuation is barely used; only seen at the end of the poem, marking it off with a period. There are not as many fragmented sentences used in the poem as well, more of long statements. Another aspect to notice grammar wise in Yes Yes, is that Bukowski capitalizes the H in “He”, every time it is written. It is that repeated phrase throughout the poem that captures the audience. However, it is not the only repeated phrase. In the first stanza, Bukowski repeats the phrase “when God created…”, throughout the first six lines. He then switches “God” to “He”, for the ending three lines in the first stanza and the rest of the poem. This repeated phrase, continues to drag the audience into the poem and constantly establishes his metaphor of God or He.

Throughout Bukowski’s writing, he brings his personality into each piece; his emotions and thoughts are all present in his work. In both poems, A Pleasant Afternoon In Bed and Yes Yes, he begins them with a neutral tone. It is neither very sad or happy, there are elements of distasteful actions or thoughts brought up. However, due to the way it is written the elements do not affect the readers thoughts. Instead, Bukowski switches the tone midway, or at the end, to a more content and simple concept. In both poems, the idea of “laying in bed” is brought up. The image of one laying in bed, either with someone and not caring about what is happening around them and just being happy, or ones perspective of someone laying in bed, looking at their beauty, is quite satisfying to read. Bukowski is known for his crude humor and personality. So, to see a line in his poem such as “He came all over His Blessed Universe”, taken from Yes Yes,  is quite normal. Humor is always an easy way to lighten a mood. In A Pleasant Afternoon In Bed, laughter is repeated at the end of the poem in the statement, ” and she laughs.” Again, the simplistic action of someone laughing is refreshing and relaxing. Without Bukowski’s simplistic elements in his writing, he wouldn’t be who he is. He once stated that his ‘secret’ of writing was in the line. Whether that line is a never ending sentence or just one word, the meaning and depth too it is all in that one line.



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