What is the tone/language of the three Charles Bukowski poems? Is the tone/language the same for all three?
All three poems by Charles Bukowski (namely, ‘so you want to be a writer?’, ‘the suicide kid’ and ‘The meek have inherited’) can be united due to their dramatic, and even tragic tone. One can feel the dull mood of everyday reality, man’s aversion to life and desire to die. To create the following tone of the poems, poet demonstrated his perfect mastery in using stylistic devices.
To be more precise, there are a lot of metaphors in all three poems, mostly personification, (e.g. ‘the libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleep’, ‘the next day waited for me’, ‘it dies in you’, ‘death doesn’t always come running’, etc.) which aim at individualization and characterization of certain objects to create their images in readers’ mind. Furthermore, a reader can find a lot of ways in which the poet tried to attach dynamism to these three poems, particularly, enumeration (‘to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend’), polysyndeton (‘dull and boring and pretentious’), asyndeton in order to create the rhythm, framing repetition (‘…don’t do it. If it’s hard work just thinking about doing it, don’t do it.’).
Also, there are elliptical sentences in each of the poems and they result in emphasizing some facts or imitating spontaneity (‘don’t add to that’, ‘don’t do it’, ‘ask me: I’m 72.’). Parallelism is used in the poems as well (e.g. ‘choking while living choking while laughing…while 2 or 3 children beat tennis balls against the walls’) and it helps to establish rhythm and monotony. At the same time, Bukowski uses rhetorical question to involve the reader in his internal conversation. Additionally, the poet does not hesitate to use colloquial language without bookish words in all three poems as he tries to be simple and understood by people. Moreover, there are some examples of low-style language (e.g. ‘son-of-a-bitch’, ‘fought like hell’).
It is worth mentioning, that inversion is used to emphasize the poet’s strong feelings and worries. In conclusion, Charles Bukowsli let the reader absorb the atmosphere and the mood of his poem in a perfect way, involving him/her to a wicked metropolitan reality with the help of the language tool.