Burning in water, drowning in flame


Title: Burning in water Drowning in fire

Author: Charles Pokovsky

Translator: Peyman Khaksar

Publisher: Cheshmeh

Subject: Poems

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 188 p

Language: Farsi



Burning in water, drowning in flame is a selection of poems by Charles Bukowski, beautifully translated by Peyman Khaksar. This collection of poems contains about 80 poems. Poems sometimes very short and sometimes very long. Poems that address a variety of issues, some of which, like Bukowski’s other books, are his own biographies.

At the beginning of the book is a sentence from Bukowski:
The difference between living and art is that art is more tolerable.

In the introduction to the book, Peyman Khaksar gives a very short biography of Bukowski’s life and in a part of the introduction he says about Bukowski’s poems:

If it seems to you that some parts are prose, it is because Bukowski avoided rhyming. So much so that no one dared to speak rhyming in front of him!

At the end of the book, there are excerpts from Sean Penn’s questions and answers with Charles Bukowski, which help the audience to get to know Bukowski’s thoughts and ideas and to better understand his poems.

In part of this question and answer, Charles Bukowski says about Shakespeare:

Unreadable and given too much importance. But no one wants to hear anything about it. No one can attack the temples. Shakespeare has been around for centuries. You can say that someone is an actor, but you can never say Shakespeare is rubbish.

Poetry So you want to be the author of the book Burning in Water Drowning in Fire
If in spite of everything
It does not blossom inside you
Do not do it.
If unintentionally from the heart and mind and mouth and heart
Does not come out
Do not do it.
If you have to sit for hours
And stare at your computer screen
Or squat on the back of a typewriter
And look for the word
Do not do it.
If you are looking for money and fame
Do not do it.
If you are looking for women
Do not do it.
If you have to sit down and rewrite over and over again
Do not do it.
If even thinking about writing is a chore for you
Do not do it.
If you try to write like someone else
forget it.
If you have to wait for it to boil inside you
Then wait patiently again
Or that it never boils inside you
Think of another job.
If you have to for the first time for your wife
Your girlfriend or boyfriend
Or read to your parents or anyone else
You are not ready yet.
Do not be like many other writers
Do not be like the thousands of people who call themselves writers
Do not be slow, boring or pretentious
Do not let love take its toll on you
Libraries of the world at the hands of those like you
They have yawned so much that they have fallen asleep
Do not add yourself to them
do not do this
Unless your soul comes out like a rocket
Or being silent will lead you to madness, suicide or crime
Or that the sun is inside you
It is burning existence
When the time really comes
Or if you have chosen
He finds his own way
And until you die or he dies inside you
He continues his work
There is no other way
And it never existed.

On behalf of the publisher
Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was born in Andernach, Germany to a German-American mother and a Polish-American father, Heinrich Karl Bukowski. After the collapse of the German economy after World War I, his parents immigrated to the United States with him. Bukowski’s father was unemployed most of the time, but he left home every day with his bag in hand so that his family would not notice his unemployment. As a teenager, he developed severe acne that left him with smallpox for the rest of his life.

After graduating from Los Angeles High School, he entered Los Angeles City College, where he studied art, journalism, and literature. At the age of twenty, his father kicked him out of the house after reading Bukowski’s writings, and the house began to belong to Bukowski. His first article was published in the story magazine at the age of 24, but he was so disgusted with the process of publishing his works that he did not write anything for almost 10 years.

He spent most of his time in the United States, accepting low-level jobs and living in cheap rooms.
In the early 1950s, Bukowski found a job at the US Post Office, but resigned after three years. He started writing again at the same time. He also painted and illustrated some of his books. He returned to the Los Angeles Post Office in the 1960s and remained there for more than ten years as a postman.

In 1963, Bukowski’s first collection of poems, My Heart Takes Hands, was published with the financial support of a friend. He wrote every day in a column in an underground Los Angeles newspaper. In 1969, the director of Black Sparrow Publishing promised Bukowski that he would pay him $ 100 a month by the end of his life, on condition that Bukowski resign from the post office and become a full-time writer. Bukowski accepted, and to his credit, even after he became famous, he published all his books in the same small editions.

He wrote in a letter about his decision: I had two options, stay in the post office and go crazy or write and starve. I decided to starve. A month after his resignation, he finished his first novel, Post Office. It was after this period that Bukowski became famous.
Of course more in Europe. At the age of 56, he left the United States for the first time and went to Canada to attend a memorial service. He once traveled to Europe for an invitation. My opinion about travel was: Travel is nothing but trouble. After writing thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, Bukowski died of leukemia at the age of 73 in California. His burial was performed by Buddhist monks. Engraved on his tombstone: Do not try.

The American that Bukowski portrays in his poems and stories is different from what they have created in the back of our minds as the land of dreams. As full of hypocrisy, poverty, discrimination and opportunism as anywhere else.

Bukowski hated life as much as he loved anything that ruined his life. He said somewhere: I believe very well. Something that exists within us and can grow. For example, when a stranger lets me pass on a busy road. My heart is warming.
This is the first time that a collection of Bukowski’s poems has been published in Persian. The poems in this collection have been selected and translated from several books by Bukowski. If it seems to you that some parts are prose, it is because Bukowski avoided rhyming. So much so that no one dared to speak rhyming in front of him! Bukowski’s questions and answers at the end of this book give a good understanding of Bukowski’s character. If you have not read anything about Bukowski before, I recommend that you ask this question first.

Bukowski’s writings were strongly influenced by the atmosphere of Los Angeles, the city in which he lived. He is often cited as an influential contemporary writer, and his style has been imitated many times. Bukowski has written and published thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories, six novels, and more than fifty books.

In the book “Burning in Water, Drowning in Fire” by Charles Bukowski, we read:
Running out

In the tomb of a room

No cigarettes or wine…

With a light bulb

And a bulging abdomen

And gray hair

And the joy of having a room

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