Sounds deliciously whimsical, doesn’t it?
Oh! Not so whimsical after all, pretty much true to life, right?
What does it all mean?
Long walks at night–
that’s what good for the soul:
Agreed: I’m a great fan of walking at any time, but there’s something about the stillness of night that’s sort of magical.
peeking into windows
Hey now, there’s no need to be nosey – even if our eyes do automatically drift in to the lights of un-curtained windows.
watching tired housewives
trying to fight off
their beer-maddened husbands.
Hmm. Are they fighting off their amorous intentions or their flying fists?
Form – the vaguely technical stuff
Division and order
No division! Yay!
Hmm. Most definitely not whimsical, sort of… resigned, to the fact that this is the way life is.
Suggested rhyme scheme
Free verse. Woo!
Similes and metaphors
Is this whole poem a metaphor for the freedom we feel observing other people and their less-than-perfect lives? That a ha! My life’s just as crappy as yours, or that feeling that we’ve often just observers?
Author’s relationship with their subject
I get the feeling that it’s like viewing an affectionate pet, separating the author entirely from the subject as though they are merely observing the ‘human condition’.
Other points of view (ideas from other sources)
There’s the same observation that the title doesn’t quite fit the subject of the poem. Apparently there are undertones of the poem being influenced by William Carlos William. Most analyses point to this poem being much shorter than Bukowski’s other work, but just as full of his usual style of grim reality and observation. And there is the mention of beer; a staple of Bukowski’s work – he is (affectionately) referred to as the drunken bard of low-life, after all.
I like it. It’s short, sharp, to the point, a pause in time that shows what all of us do, accidentally or intentionally. We observe other people and their lives, see where their experiences fit ours, which ones we like to relate to and those we distance ourselves from. It’s a snapshot of every day life and every day humanity.
When I read this I think of the song… No one says real life grit like The Pogues…