Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tragedy of the Leaves

You can hear Charles Bukowski read his poem "The Tragedy of the Leaves" today, the hump of the week, and maybe it will help you get over the hump of this particular cold, cold week. I found it via the Best American Poetry Blog, its "Hump Day Highlights," which led to PA (aka PoetsArtists), edited by Didi Menendez, and an interview by Grace Cavalieri with Linda Lee Bukowski, the poet's widow, conducted for PoetsArtists back when it was called Oranges & Sardines. What a roundabout journey! (By chance, I am also interviewed in the new PA, with 3 of the Claudel poems attached. As you know, I love chance.) I love the simplicity and quiet, funny sorrow of the Bukowski poem. I see the leaves. I hear the landlady.

The interview reveals a bit of the tragedy of the roots, Bukowski's sad childhood. Hence, my favorite turnip, by Jonathan Koch, who also painted the tangelo and its bright leaves. And if you need some more brightness, as I did this week, here is a review of Jannett Highfill's chapbook, A Constitution of Silence (Green Fuse Poetic Arts, 2013), in the EIL Blog, containing 2 of her subtle sonnets. "Scintillation" contains pictures of fantastic light installations by Lee Eunyeol. The world is full of wondrous things, and is lit from without and lit from within.


Ponyboy Garfunkel said...

I like that particular Bukowski poem.

As a boy, his father beat him regularly with a razor strop. Hank (Charles) had such terrible acne as a teenager, he regularly went to the hospital to have the boils drained with needles. So he had some internal wounds to overcome, the kinds that never fully heal. He is a sloppy and careless writer, but I love him.

Regardless of how a person feels about his work, one can admire that he was a dedicated and hard working writer who lived to write.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Ponyboy. The details of his life are just so sad and scary. I wish he hadn't gone through all that. It's good he got to love someone, and she loved him back.