“The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it—basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.” -Charles Bukowski. Henry Charles Bukowski, the poet, novelist and short story writer, was born in Germany but lived in the USA since he was three years-old. A misogynist, ignorant, rude bad guy for some, and a genius, romantic, legend for others, the truth is that Charles had a tough life.
He was abused physically and emotionally by his parents until he ran away from home, he was an outcast, and a loner but we must be grateful he took in all that pain and suffering and turned it into amazing and heartbreaking poems. In this article, we share three unique life lessons from his poems which help us understand more about life and enable us to re-evaluate priorities and values. Ready for some deep down soul searching? Then follow on in Charles Bukowski: 3 Top Lessons You Can Learn from Him!
1. Beware the Preachers
“…Beware of those who are always reading books, beware of those who either detest poverty or are proud of it, beware of those quick to praise for they need praise in return, beware those who are quick to censor they are afraid of what they do not know…” -The Genius of The Crowd
A philosophical and psychological piece you won’t find in any college book…This poem talks about people’s deep intentions and subconscious lives.
We tend to focus on or, like Charles said, “preach” about what we do not have. In some cases, this lack can be a moral pain in our souls which we “fix” by pointing at and blaming others for. We do this to try and feel morally superior and better about ourselves, something which never succeeds.
2. Charles Bukowski Says: Reinvent Yourself
“Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself, change your tone and shape so often that they can never categorize you.” -No Leaders Please.
Do not let people label you, and do not let people try to categorise you, they will try to take your dreams and aspirations, and they will try to kill your curiosity, so then you end up like them, empty.
Follow your gut, keep learning, and keep trying new things, this will keep your brain young and healthy. If you try something and you realize you don’t like it, just try something else! Think about all those people who found their purpose “late” in life, but the truth is that it is never too late to rewrite your life and pursue what is meaningful to you.
3. Go All The Way
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods and the nights will flame with fire.” -Roll the Dice
“If you’re going to try, go all the way, otherwise, don’t even start.” This is a strong and honest message for everyone, as a society we lack discipline. We say things like “I am tired today so I won’t go to the gym”, “I would love to try something else but people will make fun of me“. Excuse phrases which I hear all the time are “too tired” “too sleepy” and many more!
If what you are doing is something that makes you leap out of bed, makes you smile, and gives you purpose, you will not care about what others, think. You will endure everything, every single obstacle with that kind of divine satisfaction that spectators can only dream about.
This is a message that should be heard especially by the younger generation, do what you love and keep trying until you get what you deserve, or like Charles said: “Find what you love and let it kill you.” It’s true that life is not a Disney movie. It’s unfair and does not care about you.
My Top 5 Favourite Charles Bukowski Books
- Ham on Rye
- Post Office
- The Pleasures of the Damned
- Love is a Dog from Hell
These were just three of among very many other life lessons from Charles Bukowski. Hopefully we’ll revisit the colorful, iconic author again! He is just another example of doing what you love no matter what, and we must be grateful that he ended up being a writer regardless of everything else that happened in his life.
His writings and poems are just masterpieces, every single one tells a deep story. The story of a little boy who found his home in books and a typewriter. I hope you like my top three life lessons from Charles Bukowski and I encourage you to explore more about him, and his works of books and poetry.