My Favorite Poet, Charles Bukowski

An American man talks about why Charles Bukowski is his favorite poet of all time.

Self Study


Listen to the dialogue in the episode again. Try to write down what they say and then check with the answers below.


My favorite poet is Charles Bukowski.

It's a pretty popular pick, but really, his poetry speaks to me more than most.

I feel like a lot of poetry spends too much time trying to rhyme words, or try and communicate some sort of up-lifting message. But Charles Bukowski writes poetry that's based on his life, and his experiences. And sometimes human experience isn't always happy. And it isn't always, it doesn't always carry with it a message of learning. I like to have that sort of slice-of-life, it makes me reflect on my own experiences, to try to find the poetry in those events as well.

And Charles Bukowski was someone who came from nothing, like myself, he came from a very impoverished household, and made a name for himself, despite the fact that everyone told him that he would fail.

He didn't gain popularity until he was in the middle of his life, and he didn't even gain popularity in the United States, at first. It was overseas, and then it slowly leaked into the US.

And I think that the sort of success story that Bukowski has, coupled with the kind of sombre poetry that he speaks... it resonates with me as a person.

And it leaves me thinking about, you know, his poetry, well beyond the time that I close the book.