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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureOther - Society & Culture · 1 decade ago

Who wrote this short poem and what do you think it means?

"As the spirit wanes the form appears." This was written in a small book, one word per page. I think it speaks to the very nature of art itself. So who out there knows who wrote it and what do you think it means?


you've got to be kidding me, nobody is willing to take a stab at this. ok, can you at least tell me what it means?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "As the spirit wanes the form appears," wrote the poet Charles Bukowski toward the end of his life and career, implying that as one loses touch with one's artistry and skill, the more one falls back on the structural devices behind them. Tellingly, it takes twice as many words to reveal the meaning of this simple prose. And while he was surely referring to himself with that atypically lyrical sentiment, he is never seen in less than fighting spirit or formidable form throughout the documentary "Bukowski: Born into This." Bukowski was a massive, volatile man with a pockmarked face from a childhood bout of acne vulgaris and a bulbous W.C. Fields nose for trouble. Whatever the demons that drove him, he had a bellyful of them, if the losing battle his shirts fought with his girth is any indication. One thing that drove him was alcohol, and in the film's interviews, often conducted by European admirers, he is rarely seen without a bottle or glass in his hand. In one interview, the camera peers into an apartment barren, except for empty beer bottles, beat-up furniture and an ancient typewriter. In footage shot by filmmaker Taylor Hackford, Bukowski is shown at a reading with a beer-stocked refrigerator on stage. "Do you have a little pot on stage I can vomit in," he mumbles, at one performance. When he died in 1974 at the age of 74, it was surprising he lived that long, considering the sort of life he led. His prose was as homely and blunt as he was. If romantic poetry is about roses, his was about thorns. "He had no time for metaphor," says rock star Bono who, along with Tom Waits and Sean Penn, forms a celebrity chorus in the film by John Dullaghan. Bukowski "was a man of the street writing for the people of the street, the dispossessed," growls Waits. Bukowski said he "had all the pretense beat out of" him as a child by an abusive father, yet still waxed sentimental when revisiting his childhood or recalling a lost love. He spent years traveling across the country, living in rooming houses, working dead-end jobs, always writing, mostly fiction, and sometimes getting published. By the time he settled in Los Angeles, his prose was shaped into noirish and hard-bitten narrative-driven poetry. Despite his profligate ways, his discipline and work ethic were impressive. He spent 15 years working for the U.S. Postal Service, while writing countless poems and mailing them to magazines, without making carbon copies and never getting them back. He was the "king of little magazines," wrote a popular column called "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" for a free weekly newspaper and was finally hired by a small publishing company, after which writing poetry became his full-time job and his notoriety grew.

    He was an American primitive whose poetry, according to his German translator, reflected "the fundamental waste of a man whose life is dictated by others." But it was ultimately lived on his own terms.

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Earn Writing Article
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  • 4 years ago

    Of course it's Bukowski but I got a total interpretation of this. The way I see it is, when you start something like art, you have this enthusiasm because you think you know how easy it is going to be. As an artist, it is not until you're completely almost at the point of quitting do you finally make a breakthrough and the form of your true character actually comes through. In his case, I'm sure he thought he was supposed to write things just like everyone else, it got him nowhere but finally when he said **** it, I'm tired of doing it the way I'm supposed and I'm going to do it the way I want to, HIS FORM BEGAN.

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  • 5 years ago

    This prose was written by Charles Bukowski. It was his answer to the critics who felt his style of writing was being replaced by a more formal style. In other words, art is dead when the spirit wanes, then a more formal style will replace it. Art is dead when the spirit wanes. It will be replaced by crap. Fortunate for us, it never happened.

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  • 6 years ago

    When we become disconnected from the truth of being, the spirit, we become reliant on external forms and others yo tell us who we are and how to express ourselves.

    Bukowski passed at 74 in 1994.

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  • 4 years ago

    Are you a freelance writer who would like to discover more about how to earn great money doing what you enjoy? If you want to advance your creating career

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  • 5 years ago

    i find a very different reason behind this line than everyone else, apparently.

    "as the spirit wanes, the form appears"

    when an artist works hard and honestly at his selected craft, he chips away at himself/herself, as a sculptor does to the slab from which his chisel attacks. as we take and take from ourselves, the form of our art, of our "soul" appears. we waste away the hours, nights, years, trying desperately to hone our skills, and in doing so, the "spirit" eventually reclines from view, and the "form" of our work appears. only in letting go can we begin to see what we are heading towards.

    • Dr. Jones5 years agoReport

      When I first read it, I interpreted it similarly. When I heard the alternate take on it, I could see that as well. True artists, whether by accident or design, sometimes create things they can t explain (or the decline to). And the best ones don t limit works, to avoid ruining alternate meanings.

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