“On Cats” ~ by Charles Bukowski – Book Review

On Cats coverAnyone expecting a ‘cutsie‘ book about cats will be taken aback.  This is a book of poems by the inimitable Bukowski – edgy and raw.

I am not comfortable reviewing poetry.  I do not deem myself qualified to do so.  However, because of the subject matter of this volume I thought I’d ‘give it a go’.   A ‘cat person’ since before I could walk, anything with cats as the subject has always interested me.

Bukowski is definitely a ‘cat person’.  His relationship with them is one of mutual respect, reverence, admiration, understanding, and delight.  Like an old stray himself, Bukowski’s rapport with his felines is profound.

Bukowski and cat

“Animals are inspirational.  They don’t know how to lie. They are natural forces.”

Interspersed with the cat poetry are wise reflections on life and aging:

“I don’t like love as a command, as a search.  It must come to you, like a hungry cat at the door”.

“we laugh less and less, become more sane. all we want is the absence of others.”

Bukowski with one of his favorite cats

Bukowski with one of his favorite cats

Not without snippets of humor, “On Cats” will touch all those who have had a relationship with a cat.  Bukowski talks about his favorite cat, Monday, a cross-eyed, shot, runover, de-tailed cat with reverence and deep respect.  Then he talks about his ‘other’ favorite cat, and the reader realizes – with a smile – that they were all his ‘favorites’.

Bukowski, a german-born American poet and novelist has been coined “The Dirty Old Man of American letters”.  He is someone everyone should read at some point in their lives.  His poetic musings touch the soul.

Thanks to Harper Collins/Ecco via Edelweiss for providing me with this book in exchange for my review.


Charles Bukowski, 1920-1994 

His writing often featured a depraved metropolitan environment, downtrodden members of American society, direct language, violence, and sexual imagery, and many of his works center around a roughly autobiographical figure named Henry Chinaski. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Authors, Book Reviews, Edelweiss, Memorable lines, Poetry, Quotations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “On Cats” ~ by Charles Bukowski – Book Review

  1. Diane Coto says:

    Hi – I can definitely relate as I’m a cat person, too. The book would be very interesting, I’m sure. 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews


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