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Last Poems - Wikipedia

He was a genial American eccentric, cultivating his own slant. He wrote these prose poems in the final months of his life, at the end of a long illness. In a career of throwaway endings, this last one has been carefully calculated. The poem itself reads a little like a comic dispatch to an alumni newsletter:. I sat at my desk and contemplated all that I had accomplished this year. I had won the hot dog eating contest in Rhode Island. I was just kidding. I was the arm wrestling champion in Portland, Maine.

A trout bit me when I was washing the dishes. A policeman stopped me on the street and said he was sorry. He was looking for someone who looked just like me. What are the chances?

The last sentences are the most upsetting, implying how little the ailing Tate felt he looked like himself. The entire poem comes to rest on a familiar expression, skewed and darkened by context. You might also utter the phrase when given a diagnosis with a slim margin for survival. Then we were quiet for a while. Later, the wife dozes off and the speaker rummages through her jewelry box.

When she wakes up, she immediately fears a thief has taken something. It could be stolen at any moment. These poems consistently depict the dailiness of life—petty quarrelling, absent-minded reverie—as subject to sudden, sometimes comic, ultimately terrifying interruption.

Catalog Record: The last poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary | HathiTrust Digital Library

It's too late: I have been smitten. Alas this was also Bukowski's last poem. Just 18 days after Bukowski embraced technology, the poet once famously called the "laureate of American lowlife" by Pico Iyer died of leukemia in California.

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He was 73 years old. You can also listen to three other Bukowski poems in audio here on YouTube:.

The Last Poems of Lea Goldberg

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To support Open Culture's continued operation, please consider making a donation. We thank you! Perhaps not an epic poem, but I like seeing this. It is certainly important for being his last poem and for having been faxed, since Bukowski was a bit of a Luddite. Thank you for sharing. I think Buk liked any technology that freed up his time or liberated him from obstacles. Actually, Charles was hardly a Luddite—he embraced technology head-on a few short years before his death. As Asa mentioned, he did have a Macintosh computer a Mac IIsi to be exact , with a modem even, so he could send his poems electronically to his publisher.

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