Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is the saddest poem I have ever read...

Time for a little perspective...I decided to write about Bukowski tonight. Charles Henry Bukowski's poem Bluebird is the saddest poem I have ever read. It may have a little to do with perspective; Bukowski is one of the most tortured poets of the twenty-first century, having suffered from acne vulgaris, ulcers, and tuberculosis to ultimately die from leukemia. This man faced all of these medical demons and kept on writing, while being inspired by drink and the race track. I recently watched Bukowski: Born into this and was ultimately moved by it, especially when the poem Bluebird was placed in perspective at the end of them movie. I had no idea how so much great art is inspired by so much pain and hatred, such sadness and loneliness.

Honestly, it scares me just a little.

It scares me because Bukowski went through some really bad childhood experiences and some horrible medical conditions to produce some amazing art. And it required the horrible experiences to produce this art. I hate to think about someone who went through so much pain to produce something that enriches society, because deep down, it means that I somehow have to pay this person back, but ultimately there's no way to do such a thing. Maybe this pain and suffering is allay-able; maybe it's something that should be prevented. But, in the prevention of such suffering, it would also prevent the production of such great art.

Seriously, read this poem at least three times. The first time I read it, I wept openly. Does this make me less of a man? Maybe. Does it define me as a human? Maybe more. Does it seriously mean that people must suffer for their art? It could be true. And that saddens me more than anything.


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what you think about Bukowski's latent homosexuality expressed in this poem.

Leadhyena Inrandomtan said...

anonymous, if you really think that this poem was about latent homosexuality, you missed the point entirely. The "little birdie" wasn't his sexuality, it was his art. He was hiding it because it was a glimmer of hope in his dilapidated life. He kept it caged up because if he didn't, it would fly away and he would have nothing left.

Sorry about taking so long to respond, missed the comment entirely. :)