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Charles Bukowski's 'Bluebird'

Includes a breakdown of Bukowski's poem, 'Bluebird', two videos, and prompts for students to complte a SPECS & SLIMS analysis on it.
by

Antonina Siemionow

on 8 November 2013

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Transcript of Charles Bukowski's 'Bluebird'

Sounds
Imagery
Structure
Emotion... Mood... Feelings
Purpose or Theme
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
sad.
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he's
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see
you.
Movement
Language
Subject Matter
Let’s get analytical...
SPECS
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do
you?
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?
now it’s time to break the poem down... bit-by-tiny-bit...

Look Closer...
Back to SPECS
Summary
SLIMS
Craftsmanship
1920 - 1994

Charles Bukowski

Who is Bukowski?
Bluebird

A Poem

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see
you.
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on hime and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he's
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
sad.
then put him back,
but he's still singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do
you?
What is the poem about? What does it describe or record?
What is Bukowski's purpose in writing this? what message does he want to communicate with us?
What is the predominant emotion or mood of the poem? What emotions or feelings does Bukowski want us to feel when reading this poem?
How is the poem structured?
Does it have a fixed structure like a ballad, sonnet, or an ode?
Does it have a distinguishable rhyme scheme or rhythmic pattern?
Does it have regular stanzas?
Is there anything else interesting about it's structure?
How would you describe Bukowski's word choices - vivid, striking, effective or colourless and predictable?
Is the language appropriate to the subject matter or theme?
What effect do the language and word choices have on the reader?
What types of figurative elements does Bukowski use in this poem? (similes, metaphors, personification, symbols, etc.)
Give examples.
Does the poem have a regular rhythm? How would you describe it?
What is the effect of any rhythmic qualities?
Does Bukowski employ and significant sound features in this poem?
Is this poem musical?
Does it have any onomatopoeia, alliteration, or assonance?
Does it rhyme?
What are the effects of these sound devices on the achievement of the poem?
Now, use your responses from the previous slides to write a summary of the poem's overall achievements and effectiveness.
What is the impact of the poem as a whole for you?
How successful is it as a work of art?
Do you think Bukowski successfully achieved his purpose in writing this poem or is it seriously flawed in some way?
Created by Ms A Siemionow
for Year 9 English
2013 @ UCHSK
Full transcript