The Continual Condition: Poems
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The Continual Condition: Poems

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  568 ratings  ·  58 reviews
A volume of never-before-collected poems from America’s most imitated and influential poet

In the literary pantheon, Charles Bukowski remains a counterculture icon. A hard-drinking wild man of literature, a stubborn outsider to the poetry world, he has struck a chord with generations of readers, writing raw, tough poetry about booze, work, and women that speaks to his fans...more
ebook, 144 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,013)
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Caris
Today is the last day of the world. My Internet just got turned back on and birds are singing outside my window. The kid’s asleep, so I’ve finally got some quiet. I’m expecting the flames to hit the Earth at any moment. I’ve taken my number. I’m waiting my turn.

Last night, we celebrated. My wife and I sat on the couch and watched a Bukowski reading from 1970. It seemed like a good way to go out. The old bastard was in good spirits. And even if the tape faded in and out and the sound wasn’t exact...more
Kelly Thompson
Apr 04, 2011 Kelly Thompson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poetry readers, Bukowski fans, new readers of his work
Recommended to Kelly by: Sara Lundquist
Bukowski’s newest collection is one that dwells in the mind of an aging man, even though the poems span his career. While the bitter genius that lends itself to the poet’s reputation is still very much present in The Continual Condition, as a set of poems, it also speaks to Bukowski’s ability to provide deep philosophical musing in just a few words — whether about his own particular bad habits, or of those around him. The longer poems, such as “This Flag Not Fondly Waving,” and the reflective an...more
Sydney Scott
This book opened up the poetry world to me. I've never been interested in it, just because of the different ways you can interpret it. Then after reading if I had a conversation with someone about it and they have a different view, I feel cheated and wrong.

But upon reading this, I felt like that was okay. The way these poems and stories made me feel, it didn't matter anyone else's opinion.
Carlos Pelay
This also is one of my favorite lines: “3-year-olds will have computers/and everybody will know everything/about everybody else/long before they meet them/and so they won’t want to meet them” (“This Flag Not Fondly Waving”).

This line seems prescient - I was trying to track down when this particular poem was written but wasn't successful. [this line also resonated because at the same time I was also reading "The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster (written in 1903?) - a dystopian tale where everyone l...more
Jon Cone
This isn't great Bukowski, but even mediocre Bukowski is worth looking at and he continues, even in death, to give substantial pleasures to those readers who are open to his brand of unadorned, plainspoken poetry. (Is it even poetry? Who cares.) If you are new to Bukowski or if you find yourself within the turmoil of an early Bukowski infatuation, you should skip this book for now: there are many other collections, especially from the early 70s, that provide the reader greater examples of Bukows...more
Tuck
2.5 but i liked this one for its true-to-life
the strange morning

it had never happened before and one doesn’t
know why such things
happen.


it was about 11 a.m. and I had stepped
outside the bar for some air.
Danny walked up and I started talking
to Danny.
then Harry walked up and joined us.

then two other men started talking
to each other a few feet away.

“let’s go back for a drink,” I said to
Danny and Harry.

“no, it’s nice out here,: said Danny,
“let’s gab a while.”

so we did.

then I noticed some other men
sta...more
James Goertel
I had not read Bukowski in some time after reading him intensively for years - he is a Rosetta Stone for me in terms of my introduction to poetry. He showed me not what poetry was, but what it could be. This collection stands up with the best of what I have read by Charles Henry Bukowski. Most striking are the poems scattered here and there which reference his mortality. "Moving Toward Age 73" and "Bayonets in Candlelight" are stunners.
ej cullen
Bukowski has what only the best writers have: Voice. What he's missing is range and felicity, but it goes to show that, in literature, a true and unique Voice keeps us reading and ultimately trumps all else.
Kent Winward
"all my words ... do they create
laughter through the flame?"

For Bukowski, the answer is always yes.

Reuben
I've never been a fan of poetry, but damn. I might be now.
Esthër
Me quedo con este poema o fragmento de poema. Bukowski tenía y tiene más razón que un santo:

"hoy todo son ordenadores y más ordenadores
y pronto todo el mundo tendrá uno,
los niños de tres años tendrán ordenadores
y todo el mundo conocerá todo
lo relacionado con los demás
mucho antes de que lleguen a conocerse
y por eso nadie querrá conocerse.
nadie querrá conocer a nadie
nunca jamás
y todos serán
unos solitarios
como lo soy yo hoy"

Cierto es que este libro baja un poco de nivel e ironía. Aún así la esencia...more
Shinayde Meyerson
Bukowski's attention to the simplicity of a complex subject is a motif in all his poetry, but especially so in the anthology of 'The Continual Condition' which even as a title says a lot about himself and his selfish writing as an art form. This was the first I had ever read of Bukowski and since then I have fallen thoroughly in love with his style. His words are relentless, raw, and seemingly limitless- each of them, written filthily on a single line, illuminates his ceaseless struggle between...more
Amanda
For a man who died in 1994 at the age of 73, Bukowski is still a prolific writer. Released in 2009, The Continual Condition is the newest book containing never before published poems.

Not being a poet, my gauge of how well I like a poetry book is based on how many pages I dogear to go back to and re-read. While I did really like the majority of poems here, I didn't dogear to many. Although it might just be my mood because I seemingly just picked the darkest poems as my favorites.

This Kind of Fire...more
Pollopicu
Although not one of his best works, it was still comforting reading work created by Bukowksi.
Larissa
Sad guy- good poems, especially "let's have some fun"
Howard
Selected by John Martin at Black Sparrow Press this collection from 2009 seems to be the most recent posthumous collection of Bukowski. I just love this guy, especially his poetry. I'm always telling people to read his poetry not just his prose. Unpretentious, full of reflection, insight, joy and sadness. Elegant, short pieces which communicate so much. I'd probably give 5 stars to any book of his poetry I guess, but I do think this a particularly joyous collection. 10 quid for an hour's reading...more
Chris
Wow....Charles Bukowski. Nothing can be more whimsical and serious. Nobody can talk about booze and hookers better than Bukowski. Being one of his first major works I've read completely, I am very impressed. His contemporary tone lets this all flow like water and nothing can stop tho barrage of wordplay, wit and whim. A book of poetry worth remembering and recommending for the rest of my life.
BTW my personal favorite is as Buddha smiles
Michael
Segundo libro de poesia de Bukowski que leo. El primero me parecio (Como on in!) mejor. Sera que su estilo ya no es novedad, o que estos poemas fueron unos que el no hubiera publicado (fueron publicados despues de su muerte). Sus temas, recurrentes: alcohol, sexo, soledad. No se si una imagen 100% real de el, o una que el, conscientemente, creo. En todo caso, poesia facil de leer
K.m.
Usual swagger, mumble, ramble and fall. Bukowski is a particular world-weary, burned-out, misanthropic mouthful. You have to be in the mood for the stop-go rhythm, the dingy, sordid, crawling thoughts of a drunkard's tale, a perpetual leery old-man, wino-womanizer. If misogyny, misanthropy, and general good-natured ill-will turns you off, steer clear.
Ellen
Not his greatest collection, but it's Bukowski and I am always amazed at the quantity of his work, bad or good. Other volumes from the 1970's and 1980's are much more 'raw' and longer (this was quite short, I finished it in about 2 hours. Either way, I was impressed and love his style. Never a dull moment with Hank.
Raychel Mcmahon
I love Bukowski so much and found some real gems in here, but I thought there was too much repetition of similar themes poems regarding the decline of his career. I mean, it's still amazing and I highly recommend it, but definitely not his best work. Could have covered more topics and more raw emotion.
Joanna
Damn, Bukowski. I have heard other people's thoughts about this guy, but I was like, "Nah, he can't be that into booze and broads." but he is! No wonder there's a certain type of male fan of his... not that that's a bad thing, it's just uninteresting to me. I guess I'm not a romantic.
Paige
Bukowski explores the human condition through sex, isolation, addiction, and retrospection. I really enjoy reading his poetry. It's like sitting down with a close friend and discussing things that have happened, and insight to those events. The next poem is always a surprise.
Lucy
This 127 page hardback book of poetry was very disappointing. The author an icon in the poetry world writes of his prowess with women, bouts of drinking, crime, etc. His poetry is more often than not crude, rough, and earthy. His treatment of women was very distasteful.
John Grochalski
while i've read this before, i re-read b/c i wanted some Hank. this is end of the line Bukowski, with maybe a gem or so in a slight book filled with poems that he's written about better. still, Bukowski is bukowski, and if you love bukowksi you'll love this.
David
I've never been quite as big on the posthumous collections as I was on the ones that came out while Bukowski was alive. These are some good poems, but the collection is just not one of Bukowski's best. Of course, that is something of a tall order.
JaSexxy
Bukowski is just flat out awesome! His vulgar, unabashed honesty and clever wit are just so enjoyable, although he would probably hate that review. LOL I can't wait to tackle the rest of his works and encourage others to do so as well.
David Holec
Tohle bylo dobrý. I přes autorův styl vyjadřování, který je sice osobitý, ale já ho moc nevyznávám, mě to bavilo. Myšlenky a pocity, které svými básněmi vyjadřuje, jsou jedinečné. Asi by to napsáno slušně ani tak nevyznělo.
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Henry Charles Bukowski (born as Heinrich Karl Bukowski) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands...more
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“when I was a boy I used to dream of becoming
the village idiot.
I used to lie in bed and imagine myself the
happy idiot
able to get food easily
...and easy sympathy,
a planned confusion of not too much love or effort.

some would claim that I have succeeded.”
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