One of the most recognizable poets of the last century, Charles Bukowski is simultaneously a common man and an icon of urban depravity. He uses strong, blunt language to describe life as he lives it, and through it all charts the mutations of morality in modern America.
Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way is a treasure trove of confessional poetry written towards then end of Bukowski's life. With the overhang of failing health and waning fame, he reflects on his travels, his gambling and drinking, working, not working, sex and love, eating, cats, and more.
Sifting Through is Bukowski at his most meditative - published posthumously, it's completely non-performative, and gets to the heart of Bukowski's lifelong pursuit of natural language and raw honesty.
We recommend you read this as Bukowski wrote: by sifting through the madness for what hits you as the word, the line, the way.
"Mother o' mercy, is this the end of Buk, nearly nine years after his death? Well, no, for his new publisher^-Black Sparrow Press proprietor John Martin having retired and closed that long-lived, successful, and important small literary house^-promises four best-of collections, their contents handpicked by Buk himself. But yes, apparently, it is the end in terms of all-new collections. And a fine valedictory this is, one of the most purely enjoyable entries in the Bukowski canon. The poems in it are all as autobiographical as their not-Bukowski "I" referent, Buk's perpetual stand-in--drinkin', screwin', horse-playin', typin' Henry Chinaski--allows. As usual, they are chock-full of gripes, curses, petty rebellions, cocked snooks, long-suffering mutterings, Pyrrhic victories, and the other expressions of malcontent that were Buk's stock-in-trade for some 40 years. Perhaps he was a rhetorician, a ranter, more than a real poet, but for sure he was a humorist, one of the greatest in American literature, in prose as well as verse. If you aren't amused by him, what good are you? ^-Ray Olson"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"When HarperCollins and Ecco Press acquired part of the Black Sparrow imprint early this year, one big prize was the sprawling, long-popular oeuvre of Charles Bukowski (Barfly; Ham on Rye; Love Is a Dog from Hell). Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way: New Poems, Bukowski's 10th posthumous volume (with several more planned), collects yet more verse about the troubled, garrulous poet's traveling, gambling, thinking, aging, working, not working, romancing, drinking, self-mythologizing and even eating ("I opened a can of roastbeef hash/ and some pickled beets") as he fought through his blue-collar, beer-hall L.A. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| New York :Ecco,2003
395 pages ; 24 cm