Context:Charles Bukowski, original name Heinrich Karl Bukowski is a poet who was associated with the dirty realism. He was a German-American novelist, poet and columnist. Bukowski’’s writings were influenced by the social, political, and economical ambience of his city of residence, Los Angeles. Most of his works addresses the poor life of the Americans, alcohol, relationships with women, etc. In his lifetime, he wrote thousands of poems and short stories, which were later published in 60 books.
In this poem, the poet is describing his relationship with the woman he loves, and he calls her “little dark girl”. He is trying to express that his lover is quite younger than him in age and experience. This also gives a sense of authority that the poet had in the relationship. This poem expresses his pain and depression that he had gone through in the past, and how this “little dark girl” made him happy and made him laugh again. The poet says that has given beautiful imagery of the way he used to spend time with her. For example:
“and I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
our morning coffee
our noons our nights”
In this poem, Bukowski is trying to express how much he loved her, and inspite of things going wrong between them, he remembered the beautiful things that he did with her, the beautiful times that he spent with her. These memories put him into a love that is dominated with depression and sadness. He loves this “little dark girl” with all his heart and soul, but he got immense pain in this relationship too. The poet gives her the freedom to hurt him and leave, and he says that he wouldn’t blame her. For him, it would be like an inevitable event like many other things in the world which baffles him, or leaves him irritated, but none of them has been caused by her. He getting hurt in her hands would be the best way of ending the pain and suffering, as if he does that, she wouldn’t survive it.The poet remembers the beautiful moments that he spent with her, the things that he did with her, and gives a beautiful and crude image of all of them. For example:
“our bodies spilled together
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever
your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
who made me laugh
The poet gives a sense that he could easily overpower her and hurt her, but as he loves her unconditionally, he wouldn’t do that, and let her hurt him instead.
Rhyming Scheme and Structure: This poem does not have any rhyming scheme in this poem. There is a free-flow of the stanza. The poet has broken the sentences where he wanted to emphasise on the words and emotions. For example:
little dark girl with
when it comes time to
use the knife
I won’t flinch and
I won’t blame
There are not a lot of punctuation marks in the poem to be used for the pauses and stops. Instead, the poet has just broken the sentences in the places where he wished to give a pause. There are only few places where the commas are used.
The poet has used beautiful imagery and realism to describe the relationship he had with this “little dark girl”. He has used some brilliant words to describe the image of the things he used to do with her in a crude and raw level. This is a style that is followed in dirty realism, where there is no censoring or manipulation of any expression.
Theme: The theme of this poem is dirty realism, imagery, and sadness. The poet has expressed his views and feelings about his abusive relationship, where he has given his lover all of the freedom to break all the connections with him and walk away. This would hurt the poet, but he is not bothered. He just doesn’t want to be the one who has caused her the final pain, as she was always hurt by him. However, he remembers the beautiful memories of spending time with her, and the way he lived with her. He provides beautiful description of how they used to sleep with each other, like they were two bodies with one soul.
Deep Meaning: The deep meaning of this poem is that the poet had been hurt and heartbroken even in the past, but he still fell in love with this woman, and he loved her unconditionally. But the poet is hurt in this relationship too. But he has let the “little dark girl” to do the damage and hurt him while breaking the relationship. He cherishes the memories when they left their pretentious self behind, and were with each other like they belonged to each other in a raw form. However, this self-less love proved to be destructive in the end.
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