So I have started reading Charles Bukowski. I have also started reading Pablo Neruda. I knew that they were influential writers of the 20th century, but did not know who they really were until I started reading. As dissimilar as they first appear to be, their emotions parallel. So, if I got any of this wrong, would someone tell me? I’m new to the whole “biography of poets I hardly know” thing.
Bukowski (Heinrich Karl Bukowski/Henry Charles Bukowski) was born in Germany to a reportedly abusive father. He went to college out of high school for two years. At 24 he was published, and then again two years later. He stopped writing for almost a decade, disenchanted with the publishing process. When he DID write, he wrote about Los Angeles. He said, “You live in a town all your life, and you get to know every street-corner. You’ve got the layout of the whole land. You have a picture of where you are. … Since I was raised in L.A., I’ve always had the geographical and spiritual feeling of being here. I’ve had time to learn this city. I can’t see any other place than L.A.”
From what I’ve read so far, there’s some recurring themes… roses, beer, bums, women, sex, death… he seemed very attached to the life. He seemed very depressed and unhappy.
Neruda (Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto) was born in Chile. His father didn’t approve of his writing, but received encouragement from others. By the time he was 16, he adopted his pseudonym. Neruda took his pen name from Czech writer and poet Jan Neruda. He later changed it to his legal name in 1946. He was a writer and communist politician.
Neruda writes mostly in a romantic, high emotional way. However, like most poets, he also has his dark moments. He was often forced to leave his family, friends, and home because of his beliefs. That sadness was also reflected in his works.
His poems range from amazing love poems, political views, historic poems, to odes to common objects. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century.