Excerpt Wednesday – Let It Enfold You – Bukowski

LetItEnfoldYouWritten towards the end of a very colorful and intensely creative life, “Let it Enfold You” by Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994), describes his arduous personal journey. I wanted to create something that attempted to capture the gesture and resolution of the journey  – while honoring what came before – all in one picture. Drawing (colored pencil on paper) and composition by me. To join Mr. Bukowski on this journey, for a few minutes at least, read the whole poem here. I am indebted to Beat Company for introducing me to this poem – in the comments section of my About Me page, no less! Proving once again that the WP community enriches, supports, and inspires us.


    1. Thank you, Jilanne! He considered himself a Los Angeles native too – so when I go to channel my inner Bukowski (minus the drinking and bar fights!), I enjoy knowing that we have shared the same vistas!

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    1. I have heard many folks say that Bukowski was not a part of the beat generation. They say that he did not want to be considered as a part of that generation. So you all (some of you anyway) like to sit their and sound smart by claiming that Buk’s involvement with the beat generation is an incorrect myth. Well if you say that he was not a part of the Beat Generation, you are wrong. If Einstein did not want to be called a genius, it would not change the fact that he was a genius. It?s the same with Buk, just because he may not have thought of himself as a Beat writer, he still really was.

      Some would argue that he was to far after what they consider to be the Beat generation . Even if we call the Beat generation the small period of time where Kerouac hoped around the country with all his happy drunk friends, Bukowski was still close enough to this time to be considered a part of it. He even knew many of the fellows, most of them are not very well known, but they where still beats none the less. Just because he was at the end of that whole party does, not mean he wasn’t a part of it. Bukowski is the example of what happens to a Beat if they don’t die at forty of alcohol poisoning. Look at what the Beat generation really meant.

      A Beatnik is a person who will commonly reject the norms of established society and indulge in exotic philosophizing, and mainly self expression. What the Beats did for literature was like what Duncamp, and Picasso did for painting. The Beats took literature and poetry and turned it from a meticulous precise process, and turned it into an art, like expressionistic writing if you will. The Beatnik generation consists of the forefathers of this new way of writing.

      Thanks, sheldonk !


      1. It does seem that there are two “camps” of definition on the Beat Generation – either very narrow (a few years) or a more broadly defined literary movement. I think it is an interesting discussion of how we classify artists vs how they classify themselves – and perhaps how the internet will reimagine this process!

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  1. Wow.

    I read the whole poem and I ordered one of his books from the library, right now. Once again you’ve sent me in a good direction. Thank you!

    Not to mention those hands you have drawn. Those hands have seen life, I think.

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    1. Thank you, Claudia! As I mentioned to Allison, Bukowski’s work has both the “salty” and “sweet” and many interesting turns reflecting a complicated life. After I read this poem, I kept picturing that final gesture to the post man and how it could perfectly hold all of the meaning of the words that came before…

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      1. Yes. This whole poem made an impression on me and those lines, I felt the same way as what you just said. Wow, what a writer and also, what an interesting life that produced all those works he did.


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