Friday, February 3, 2012

"There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out..."

Two version of Charles Bukowski's poem "Bluebird": one animated and one read by the author.






This famous poem was published in Bukowski's book "The Last Night of the Earth Poems" circa 1992. Below are an animated interpretation by Monika Umba from the Cambridge School of Art and a video with the poet himself reading the work. I love his delivery—so different from the affected way many authors read today.

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 my book sales in
Europe?
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do
you?

8 comments:

  1. beautiful and heartbreaking. what an amazing poem.

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  2. THIS POEM IS A SAD PROFOUND PROFOUND GLIMPSE INTO THE HUMAN CONDITION OF MANY. I LOVE IT. BEAUTIFUL HANDMADE CHARM NECKLACE, INSPIRED BY THIS POEM, FOUND IT ON ETSY.http://www.etsy.com/listing/59324314/theres-a-bluebird-in-my-heart-charm?ref=sr_list_5&sref=&ga_includes[0]=tags&ga_search_query=charles+bukowski&ga_view_type=list&ga_search_type=all&ga_facet=

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  3. There a lot of people in the world that relate to this exact poem. People are often times dealing with so many hidden things and no one knows. That is why we should be accepting of everyone regardless of sex, race, or religion.

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  4. I think many people feel this way at some point in life. We repress something beautiful inside in order to "save face" or as a defense
    mechanism. Beautifully written..

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  5. If you have ever seen a small family of bluebirds play in the air while there is snow on the ground, in the middle of the greyness of winter...to be that determined toward joy and fearless - well, the poem speaks for itself.

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  6. this is Harry Dean Stanton reading, not Buk.

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  7. Dang. Had wrong info. I think there are other poems he actually reads, yes?

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