The poem and the moon and the stars and the world are written by the American contemporary poet Charles Bukowski. It is a short-stanza poem consisting of 6 lines & 23 words. The poem is written in free verse & there is no rhyme scheme. It is semi-autobiographical. It was originally published in the book Mockingbird Wish Me Luck in 1972. Bukowski writes about the lives of poor Americans, alcoholism, abuse & relationship with women, as illustrated by this poem.
Analysis of ‘And The Moon And The Stars And The World’
This poem and the moon and the stars and the world is a precise denotation of life & is laced with honesty. It covers the wide spectrum of human bond in intricate depth. The poem starts on an intriguing note as the narrator sets an arcane ambiance. It is likely that the reader shall comprehend the poem from the narrator’s perspective. The narrator provides us with an insight into the sentiment of an outcast. An outcast, who has been spurned by society. The narrator lives amidst the people & yet remains detached. He is an observer, a wallflower. He observes the mundane activities of the masses as they go about their lives. He reflects a dejected opinion in general. His zest for life has long since dissipated. His pessimistic inclination towards all things insinuates the absence of love, goodwill & mirth.
The narrator has forgotten the essence of these virtues. While the majority of the people sleep at night, the speaker takes a long walk in the empty streets. This evokes a sense of loneliness. He only finds his sole recluse while taking long walks in the lonely hours of the night. It is in these hours that he contemplates ever so profoundly in his mind. Here we find a strong sense of observation on the narrator’s part. His views on life are divergent from the mainstream standpoint. The long walks that he takes every night helps to soothe his soul. It is his only source of consolation. The night symbolizes the “surrender of hope.” Therefore it fosters a poignant undertone. The reader can notice the narrator’s detachment from the people in general. The window symbolizes “the mirror of truth” into the depths of the human soul. It is a common expression that the “eyes are the windows to the soul.” In this case, the narrator is looking through a window of another person’s home where the windows serve as the eyes. This implies the breach of privacy. This gesture implicates unethical behavior.
He also peeks in through the window to draw in the warmth of human proximity. The narrator has lived a solitary life mostly devoid of human contact. And peeking through the window is his way of consociating with humanity. The speaker is likely to catch a glimpse of something not meant to be seen. The veil thus shrouding the actual reality is revealed. It is through these windows that he reconciles with the poignant truth of life. When he looks in through the windows at night he sees the weary housewives worn out by the vicissitudes of life. This suggests that the homemaker has a strenuous job. It is their sole responsibility to take care of the home & those who stay in it. These housewives had once started off young & their tender hearts filled with passion holding idealistic notions & fervent ambitions. But gradually they were beaten up by the harsh realities of life. The air of resignation implies the demise of the dreams once held inside their hearts. These housewives were once young and overflowing with affection for their husbands. But with time their fondness towards their spouse has waned.
The realization of truth has left them disillusioned with life & embittered their once compassionate heart. The narrator observes what really happens between married couples. In these lines the reader gets the real impression of life on the other side. The scene he witnesses reveals something unsettling about the way people react when they are in the safe confines of their home. The narrator suggests that there is much more to a person than we know. Hence, suggesting the reader to not judge people solely on their “face value.” The typical expression “the grass is always greener on the other side” is not applicable in this context. On the outer surface, we might find the couples to be jovial & content but the reality may be quite contradicting. This suggests the breaking of the ideal. The “weary housewife” is fighting off her drunken husband.
The husband is drunk to the point of derangement. His dreadful habit has led the meltdown of the relationship. This implies the mutual affection which they shared initially has long since vanished. This gives the reader an idea as to why the housewife is weary. What the narrator saw inside the house was private, meaning there is a possibility nobody outside the marriage knows about their sad state of affairs. It is likely that nobody knows she has to fight him off. It suggests the breakdown of their relationship. The reader finds the sense of resignation looming in the air. This is the narrator’s subtle way of insinuating us with the vagaries of life. The poem imparts a grim essence on the reader’s mind. The poem ends abruptly on a despondent note.
And The Moon And The Stars And The World Theme/Central Idea
The theme of the poem is contemplation. Through observation & careful thought, one can learn a lot from the others. It aids in the gradual shift of the overall perspective. The poet knows very well that those long walks serve a dual purpose. It not only helps to soothe his soul & put his mind at ease. But also familiarises him with the actual happenings beyond the windows. The windows serve as a crucial entity in the weaving of the poetry. It is through these windows that the reader gets a glimpse of the world through the poet’s eyes. The poem is a clear reflection on the realities of life. It also suggests the fragility of human emotions. The human emotions are susceptible to weakness & hence we find the deterioration of mutual regard amidst the couple. It exhibits the imperfection of the relationships in general & thus acquaints us with the sad truth. On the outside, the couples may seem pleasant to the eye but the matter of fact is quite astounding.
The poet fabricates a mysterious aura as he proceeds with the poem. Initially, the reader is filled with intrigue as to how the poem will unfold. The thematic interweaving of reality & the shattering of ideal leaves a profound imprint in the reader’s mind. There is a dramatic twist in the overall story when we find what the poet actually sees through those windows. It provides a break from our illusions. The poet seems unhesitant painting a black & white picture of the grim reality. It provokes us to think out of the box. In a way, it reflects the poet’s take on life & his beliefs. The reader is provided with a new set of lenses & a view contradicting to the usual one. Overall, the reader finds a trace of bittersweet verity in the poem. Also, we can’t help but notice the peak of the poet’s curiosity. It is the curiosity that leads him to peek through the windows.
Even though, it is considered to be highly unethical. The sight of the “weary” housewife is indicative of the wavering of hopes. We naturally assume that couples are content with each other which in this case is proven to be wrong. The reader is finally taught not to make assumptions on face value. People wear masks & it is often difficult to look beyond the mask. It is only in the safe confines of their homes that they reveal their true selves. In other words, “a wolf might clad itself in the outfit of a sheep.” The reader is presented with a brusque picture of society. It also deals with the issues of dysfunctional relationships. The poet illustrates the issues of abuse, alcoholism & treatment meted out to women. The broaching of these issues awakens the reader’s mind & shatters his/her illusion. The poem sheds a light on the so-called “delusion.” It is a wonder that the poet manages to convey this message in just six lines. The poem ends abruptly on a piteous note arousing emotions of remorse for the “weary wife.”
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