Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Night of the Earth Poems” as Want to Read:
The Last Night of the Earth Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Night of the Earth Poems

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  6,089 ratings  ·  285 reviews
Poems deal with writing, death and immortality, literature, city life, illness, war, and the past.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 31st 2002 by Ecco (first published 1992)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Night of the Earth Poems, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Frances That has quite a few good selections because it includes his earlier poems but in my opinion, The Last Night of The Earth poems contains probably the …moreThat has quite a few good selections because it includes his earlier poems but in my opinion, The Last Night of The Earth poems contains probably the best poems of Bukowski. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,089 ratings  ·  285 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Last Night of the Earth Poems
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, love, death, 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
Jul 01, 2016 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

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
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
you want to blow
Sep 06, 2012 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
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
The ugly made beautiful.

three stars


This is my favourite poem from this collection:

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
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
in there.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too toug
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First time reading a book of Bukowski's poetry cover to cover and I absolutely loved it. ...more
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-
Jun 17, 2010 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. ...more
Apr 23, 2011 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
Mar 13, 2010 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
Asma Akhi
Apr 28, 2017 rated it liked it
‘‘there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I am too tough for him.
I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do

His best poem, definitely.
Saurav Borah
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These poems are so beautiful. 💕😙
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, literature
A pleasingly angry soul.
Eve Kay
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, drunken
These are some pretty excellent poems and stories of Bukowski's life.


days like razors, nights full of rats
in and out of the dark
let me tell you
blasted apart with the first breath
my buddy in valet parking at the racetrack
show biz
off and on
we ain't got no money, honey, but we got rain
inactive volcano
my uncle Jack
the area of pause
Sorin Hadârcă
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, bukowski
Prose-like, not deep, effectively hitting reality, lacking finesse and equally lacking pretense (that’s good!), great rhythm, uncovering a spot you had no idea it existed before. In other words, some of his finest poems are right here. Touché.
Blaine Engeland
Feb 14, 2011 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
Dec 18, 2007 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
Morgoth Jr
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I love poetry, but most of it is awful.

Bukowski is a sorry bastard, of the sort who has only two friends: Jack Kerouac and Jack, Bottle of.
His world is crude and gritty and cruel.

Of the whole 400 pages, I found a whole six stanzas that were any good.
Yet, I read 400 pages of it.
And somehow, I don't regret it.

While I dislike Bukowski, the person - or the person who he comes off as, whose life has no light because he is more comfortable angsting in the darkness - it's the pain of the True Wri
Dec 28, 2009 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
Aug 04, 2012 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.
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've never been a man of poetry, but in the last year I've decided to give it a shot. Read a few of the poetry books, mostly modern ones, and was almost ready to give up on it completely when I purchased this collection.

Bukowski got me hooked. I know most of his fame today consists of being the general quote under some black-and-white selfie on Instagram, but this guy was pure gold. His poems are so raw. Bland at first, but when you dive deeper into his words, you enter a world of madness, yet a
Isabelle Bradbury
2.5 stars. I didn’t particularly enjoy this book—I found the poems didn’t feel like poetry at all, rather gross and crude stories from Bukowski’s past. However, every now and then there would be a phrase that I found beautiful or resonated with deeply (these have all been highlighted and posted.) I can’t decide if they made the rest of the book worthwhile or not.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
did not hate as much as i had assumed. i tried reading post office and i think the length of that bored me in comparison to these quick bursts of poems. bukowski is really The Red Hot Chili Peppers of poetry
Jul 15, 2011 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
Dec 12, 2015 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
Jun 25, 2009 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
Jun 28, 2010 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.
Casey Kiser
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry

‘self-congratulatory nonsense as the
famous gather to applaud their seeming

wonder where
the real ones are

giant cave
hides them

the deathly talentless
bow to

the fools are

wonder where
the real ones are

if there are
real ones’
Jon Heppner
Jun 08, 2012 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.
vi macdonald
Jul 10, 2016 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.
Patrick McGrady
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not going to pretend I know anything about poetry. I cannot critique structure, prose or language with any expertise. Full disclosure; this was my first time reading an entire collection of poetry and my first Charles Bukowski to boot!

I am a human being that has been through public school so I HAVE READ poetry before but probably with little to nothing retained/understood and never by choice.

I immediately noticed that these poems were not like the ones I have read in the past. Those "tradit
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fires: Essays, Poems, Stories
  • Ask the Dust (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #3)
  • Dreams from Bunker Hill (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #4)
  • Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems
  • In Watermelon Sugar
  • Wait Until Spring, Bandini (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #1)
  • A Drink With Shane MacGowan
  • Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future
  • Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life
  • Sucker's Portfolio
  • Auguries of Innocence
  • The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2)
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Book of Haikus
  • I am Going to Clone Myself Then Kill the Clone and Eat It
  • No One Can Do Anything Worse to You Than You Can
  • The Memoirs of a Survivor
  • ダウト 1 (Doubt, #1)
See similar books…
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

News & Interviews

What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
103 likes · 22 comments
“I often carry things to read
so that I will not have to look at
the people.”
“animals never worry about Heaven or Hell. neither do I. maybe that's why we get along” 311 likes
More quotes…