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The Last Night of the Earth Poems

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,063 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
Poems deal with writing, death and immortality, literature, city life, illness, war, and the past.
Paperback, 408 pages
Published May 31st 2002 by Ecco (first published January 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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s.penkevich
Apr 22, 2015 s.penkevich rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, death, love, bukowski
I am exactly what I am supposed to be.

This is likely my favorite collection by Charles Bukowski. A man made famous for his vulgarity and debauchery—though to cling to such things misses the point and heart of his poetry—The Last Night of the Earth Poems removes the caustic armor and lets the tender heart beat out prose without fear, without need for deflection. While it is often the boozing and whoring and bitterness of Bukowski that is spoken of, particularly in college dorms, I've always felt
...more
Arah-Lynda
Jul 01, 2016 Arah-Lynda rated it really liked it
Shelves: ahhh-poetry
The bluebird


There’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

There’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

There’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow m
...more
Emer (ALittleHaze)
Jun 26, 2016 Emer (ALittleHaze) rated it liked it
Shelves: 3stars, poetry, 2016-reads
The ugly made beautiful.


Review to come.
Nikoline
Jul 26, 2015 Nikoline rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every human being
Recommended to Nikoline by: study buddies
The Last Night of the Earth Poems by Charles Bukowski is without doubt one of the best modern poetry books I have ever read in twenty years of existing. His way with words is very complicated to get around, but once the reader breaks his many linguistic codes, the reader enters a world of... I am not even sure how to describe it.

Bukowski's understanding of the world, is rather rare yet both dark and poetic in a way very few can handle the way he does it. He manage to describe feelings, rather c
...more
Jonfaith
Aug 26, 2014 Jonfaith rated it really liked it
Le Tigre had a great song titled Mediocrity Rules. A poet loaned me this book. I don't think he liked Bikini Kill. Sometimes I think about Bono and Sean Penn calling Bukowski and I die a little inside. For a number of reasons.
Kathryn
Sep 06, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Unless I remember incorrectly, this was the final book Bukowski published before he passed away. I was very interested in getting my hands in it, in the hopes that something extra would be revealed. Silly, now that I have read the book. The poems were much like his past poems. The topics were mostly the same, though certain trends (his father, remembering his early years, former landladies, bars, classical music, and observations of the everyday and struggling human) were evident more than I hav ...more
Madeleine
I knew from the very first page that Charles Bukowski is what I've spent my entire life looking for in a poet. His slice-of-life poems, be they three lines or three pages, are so raw, so simple yet so significant, that they're so perfectly representational of the embittered writer who has both no patience for bullshit and miles upon miles of talent.

The word choice, construction and basic subject matter (usually a fleeting moment from Bukowski's life that would have been rendered trite and self-
...more
Thom
Mar 14, 2010 Thom rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Thom by: God
Shelves: poetry-general
This was the first of Bukowski's works I encountered.

I was skipping English class to read in the library about Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I had loaded my arms with books about them and their relationship and while I walked back to the area I was sitting, I shot out my hand randomly and picked a book from the shelves. Not knowing what it was, what it was named, who wrote it, just for the hell of it. As soon as I sat down I opened to the first page and began reading the first poem. It was magic. Th
...more
Stephanie
Jan 02, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I was standing at a bookstore during the Christmas season, looking for something else entirely when I spotted this book. I had dabbled in Bukowski previously, saw some flicks on him, and felt rather ambiguously about his slurring drunk face and unmemorable words.
Until I opened this book. I don't know what compelled me, but it was one of those moments in a book lover's life.
It was a reprieve. The hustle of the Holidays ceased to exist, the jostling crowd melting away as I read, standing there i
...more
Paula
Jul 15, 2011 Paula rated it really liked it
I have friends that read this book, and because of it, think he's a lousy poet.

I am quick to remind them that this was written by an old man at the end of his days, and given the context, I think it's a great book.

His perspective and the voice he writes with in this anthology of poems is very telling of the context. I won't deny that there are some poems that kind of suck, but hey, he's DYING! No time to revise and rewrite, labor over every letter and comma...he had to get that shit out and let
...more
Jerry Ghazali
Jul 06, 2014 Jerry Ghazali rated it really liked it
Berasa kagum dengan Charles Bukowski yang memilih untuk lebih selesa melawan resmi keuzuran, walau batin terbatas, zahirnya cenderung untuk semakin produktif dalam penulisan. Baginya, tiket-tiket nafas yang semakin bersisa menuju detik keberangkatan pergi tanpa kembali dari dunia yang hina ini perlu diekploitasi sepenuhnya dengan hamburan perasaan getusan keegoan berupa sumpah seranah, kekecewaan dan kesedihan akan dunia fana yang bukan baqa ini.

Bukowski tidak pernah skeptikal dengan kematian se
...more
Brandon
Jan 01, 2010 Brandon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: charles-bukowski
Superior book of poems, although the fat could've been trimmed. "Dinner, 1933" made me laugh out loud, while "The Aliens" exhibited Bukowski's awareness of class issues. Also in this book are the Bukowski classics "We Ain't Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain" and the powerful "Dinosauria, We." I have a long list of favorites from this collection: "The Man with Beautiful Eyes," "The Lady and the Mountain Lion," "Hold On, It's a Belly Laugh," "8 Count," "The Soldier, His Wife and the Bum," "Bona ...more
Greg
Jun 25, 2009 Greg rated it it was amazing
While sitting at the DMV this morning I read a few lines, then looked up to notice a couple arguing with a clerk about license plates. The man was black and had thin, long dreadlocks. The woman wore a pink T-shirt and white draw-string pants which revealed her blue polka-dot underwear. As the disagreement continued her hips and cheeks swayed as she changed positions. Her butt talked a language all its own. Just another Thursday morning at the DMV. If Hank was there he would have stared just like ...more
Conor Walsh
Jul 12, 2010 Conor Walsh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry


Pure and simple Bukowski at his finest, every word in this collection of his later poems will read like it was written in your soul. A perfect place to start if you are thinking of getting into Buk's work. You will spend hours looking over and over this book. My favorite poem would have to be 'bluebird' it sent tingles down my spine as I read such brilliance. A great life and another amazing book from America's greatest poet in my opinion.
Paul
Aug 04, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Damn it, Bukowski. Why did you go off and die on us when we need you the most in days like these?

This is a brilliant work... So much better than the academic trash being published today.

How I wish you were here.
Documentally
Jan 10, 2016 Documentally rated it it was amazing
The last book of poetry to be published during Bukowski's lifetime, I enjoyed it immensely.

This was a spontaneous purchase when I didn't really need to be carrying around a chunky paperback.
And yet once I started I didn't want to get to the last page. I made it last. Only reading it when I had a drink in my hand.

You get the feeling that he's tying up loose ends. Saying the things he always wanted to say.

It flashes back to his younger years and then brings you back to his last.

You certainly feel
...more
Jon Heppner
Jun 08, 2012 Jon Heppner rated it it was amazing


What a hard, broken and beautiful writer! So sensitive and calloused. A man who articulates the darkness with light fingers.
Mat
Mar 11, 2013 Mat rated it really liked it
I really want to give this book three and a half stars and I must make a disclaimer. As an aspiring poet myself, I am both a harsher critic of poetic works than prose but also more sympathetic to their cause and 'pain' at getting each poem's word choice, flow (line breaks, spacing on the page etc.) and impact just right.

The Last Night of the Earth Poems (by the way great title for a book! as are most of Bukowski's books....)is simply too good for me to dish out a mere three stars. There really a
...more
Eikman
Apr 17, 2010 Eikman rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
As with all of Bukowski's poetry compilations, it has its ups and downs. Thankfully, there appear to be more of the former. As the title suggests, most of the poems were probably written towards the end of Bukowski's life, and deal with impending death, but also offer reflections upon a remarkable life and career. Needless to say, there are the usual rantings about horse races, women and drinking, but also a couple of really reflective and remarkably quiet poems too, including a touching acknowl ...more
Vi MacDonald
Jul 10, 2016 Vi MacDonald rated it it was ok
Some of these were pretty decent, surprisingly.
Like, they weren't great.
And all the usual problems were here.
But some of these poems were okay.
Gene Wagendorf III
Sep 25, 2007 Gene Wagendorf III rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone sick of purple prose and flowery metaphor
Shelves: poetry
When Bukowski gets it right it's more right that just about anyone else can get it. There are some unspectacular poems in this collection, but the standouts are so very worth the price of admission. Buk, to me, is always at his best when dealing with the concept of death. He does this brilliantly in novel form with Pulp, and in poetry Buk manages to express a concerned apathy. That is, he seems to have reconciled his own demise, to have accepted it, and at the same time he is burdened by what he ...more
Blaine Engeland
Feb 14, 2011 Blaine Engeland rated it it was amazing
I love owning this book. It has stains on the cover, tears and creases on every other page. It has served as a plate, a hard surface to roll cigs, a surface to write on, and a coaster. More importantly it's main function, obviously, is for it to be read, and that it truly has. It sits on my coffee table all welcoming. Everyone who has ever sat down on my couch has picked it up and paged through it and found themselves a poem that they will carry with them forever. Some of the words make you die ...more
Nada Aljarallah
Aug 06, 2016 Nada Aljarallah rated it liked it
the soft.. inside the hard exterior.
The Bluebird is one of my fav poems!!
Sherreka Burton
Jul 20, 2015 Sherreka Burton rated it it was ok
Charles Bukowski is a bitter, bitter dude. I guess it makes sense, though. He didn’t really reach prominence until he was damn near at death’s door. I could only get with a few of his poems. Not because I thought he was too bitter, just most the time he wasn’t relatable to a womanist like me. He’s an alcoholic misogynist (and I’d bet my life he was racist as all hell), but he did have a few gems that I liked:

•“begging” – Exactly how I feel at work. I will always feel this way as long as I work f
...more
Claudia Larissa
May 31, 2014 Claudia Larissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Bukowski eras un genio, me encanta su prosa y lo depresivos que son sus poemas. Me encantó este piro desde la primera página, si ven mi copia, está llena de separadores<334
Amey
Jul 26, 2016 Amey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
The Best Bukowski collection I have read.

Dinosauria, We
~ Charles Bukowski

Born like this
Into this
As the chalk faces smile
As Mrs. Death laughs
As the elevators break
As political landscapes dissolve
As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
As the oily fish spit out their oily prey
As the sun is masked
We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shoo
...more
Hakim
Mar 19, 2014 Hakim rated it really liked it
Published two years prior to his death, The Last Night of the Earth Poems collects some of the best musings of Mr. Charles Bukowski.

The melancholic tone of the poems tugs at the reader's heartstrings as Bukowski recounts childhood memories and past experiences. He shares his opinions on music, literature and being a writer with great maturity, bleak humor, pragmatism and an acute sense of confrontation with the world - which is one of the things I enjoy the most in his writings.
Charles Bukowsk
...more
Kara
Oct 19, 2010 Kara rated it it was amazing
This a beautiful book of later Bukowski poems, very readable and the perfect collection to bring on vacation or a long bus trip. I recommend this book with another called "Permanent Obscurity" by Richard Perez, who writes like Bukowski and shares similar themes.
Betty
Jul 03, 2016 Betty rated it liked it
3,5 ster. Brutaal schrijnend. Hoe niet de dichter te vermoeden in de verhaal-gedichten? Drie vierden in de bundel voel ik me wel dichtslibben.
Bettie☯
Aug 16, 2016 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, summer-2016
the man with the beautiful eyes

when we were kids
there was a strange house
all the shades were
always
drawn
and we never heard voices
in there
and the yard was full of
bamboo
and we liked to play in
the bamboo
pretend we were
Tarzan
(although there was no
Jane).
and there was a
fish pond
a large one
full of the
fattest goldfish
you ever saw
and they were
tame.
they came to the
surface of the water
and took pieces of
bread
from our hands.

our parents had
told us:
“never go near that
house.”
so,
...more
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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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“I often carry things to read
so that I will not have to look at
the people.”
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