Title: The People Look Like Flowers At Last
Author: Charles Bukowski
Page Count/Review Word Count: 306
This collection of poetry is said to be the final posthumous publication of Charles Bukowski’s work, compiled with the help of some manuscripts that he left behind for the express purpose of it being released after he kicked the bucket. And boy, what a collection it is.
The interesting thing here is that the work is even more introspective than you might be used to from Bukowski, and while he looks back at his youth with the experience of age, he also covers some of the perils of old age, including a piece about how much it sucks to be on antibiotics and unable to drink or smoke when you’ve been drinking and smoking for fifty years straight and it’s made its way into your unique style of literature.
Speaking of literature, Bukowski also takes a look at the literary world, ruminating on the death of Ernest Hemingway or poking fun at the author bios that you see inside anthologies and literary magazines. Somehow, the great poet was able to remain firmly anti-establishment even after being accepted by it, and these poems offer a fascinating insight into that unusual contradiction.
Bukowski has so many poetry books on the market that it’s difficult to recommend any one book over another. That said, this was one of my favourite collections, and this is definitely a must-have for any serious Bukowski fan. The man had a way with words that no other writer has been able to duplicate, although many have tried. It’s a refreshing taste of a different type of literature, made all the more poignant because it wasn’t released until after his death. I’d definitely recommend reading it.