Charles Bukowski: Safe

the house next door makes me
both man and wife rise early and
go to work.

they arrive home in early evening.
they have a young boy and a girl.
by 9 p.m. all the lights in the house
are out.
the next morning both man and
wife rise early again and go to
they return in early evening.
By 9 p.m. all the lights are

the house next door makes me
the people are nice people, I
like them.

but I feel them drowning.
and I can’t save them.

they are surviving.
they are not

but the price is

sometimes during the day
I will look at the house
and the house will look at
and the house will
weep, yes, it does, I
feel it.


Funeral Blues: WH Auden

This week we studied Auden and the rise of modernism in poetry. The readership at the time was frustrated and felt poetry was far too abstract; they couldn’t relate it back to their own lives, Auden went some way towards incorporating the socio-economic and political atmosphere of the time in to his work. I felt a few people in the class were quite negative towards this poem, feeling it was too simple or ‘childlike’. The very beauty of this poem is the simplicity and the way he manages to ‘trick’ the reader, for he was not in mourning at all- he simply wanted to re-purpose the poem for wider release. I find it hugely poignant in its simplicity, particularly the last two stanzas- it captures beautifully the loss of innocence brought about by the death of a loved one. 



Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.