And the Moon and the Stars and the World

American contemporary poet Charles Bukowski is known for being brutally honest with his use of words. In “And the Moon and the Stars and the World” he uses his signature graphic language to give us an insight into the private lives of the bored American housewifes and their drunken husbands.

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And The Moon And The Stars And The World


Long walks at night–
that’s what good for the soul:
peeking into windows
watching tired housewives
trying to fight off
their beer-maddened husbands.

Analysis of Bukowski’s “And the Moon and the Stars and the World”

“And the Moon and the Stars and the World” is a poem written by American poet Charles Bukowski. It was published in his book “Mockingbird Wish Me Luck” which came out in 1972. Written in a short single-stanza, it is a narrative poem in which the speaker is talking about how “Long walks at night -” are “… good for the soul”. He then goes on to explain why it is good – it allows the person to peek through peoples’ windows and catch a glimpse of “… tired housewives/ trying to fight off their beer-maddened husbands.”

The primal theme in this poem is contemplation – observing what goes on around and then understanding or at least trying to make sense of it all. In this manner, a lot of things can be learned. From the very first two lines, we see that the speaker talks about “long walks” in a way that it is a ritual that is needed to be performed on a daily basis for a healthy, contented living. The speaker does not end the line using a period, instead he uses a colon, which suggests that he has more to say about the goodness of the soul.

The other activity that he performs during his “long walks” is “peeking into windows”. Although it is something unethical to do, it seems that the speaker has no notion of that and has been doing it for as long as his “long walks”. As he gawks into the windows, out of all the things that he notices, he reveals to us only about “tired housewives” and their “beer-maddened husbands”.

It seems that the speaker is nonchalantly stereotyping the people of that era, but that is only because it was so common. Even though, such an event is private but it feels like every house has the same story. Perhaps the wives are bored and their highly intoxicated husbands give them the only outlet to express themselves.

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