Charles Bukowski Quotes On Life and Love (Thought-Provoking)

Charles Bukowski was a prolific writer and poet who was known for his dark and cynical sense of humor. His quotes are a great reminder that life is full of surprises and that you should never take things too seriously. Here are some of my favorite Charles Bukowski quotes to help you get through your day.

charles bukowski quotes

Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany on August 16, 1920. His father was a American soldier and his mother was a German girl. When Bukowski was three years old, his father was discharged from the military and the family returned to the United States. 

They settled in Los Angeles, California. Bukowski had a difficult childhood. His parents were constantly fighting and his father was an alcoholic. Bukowski dropped out of high school and started working odd jobs. In the 1940s, Bukowski started writing poetry.

He was published in a few small magazines, but he was not very successful. In the 1950s, Bukowski moved to San Francisco and started writing for a local magazine. He also started drinking heavily and womanizing.

In the 1960s, Bukowski moved back to Los Angeles and started writing for a newspaper. He also started publishing his poetry and novels. In the 1970s, Bukowski became a cult figure and his books started selling well. Bukowski died of leukemia on March 9, 1994.

Here are some of Charles Bukowski Quotes.

55 Charles Bukowski Quotes

  1. “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

2. “what matters most is how well you walk through the fire”

3. “Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”

4. “My ambition is handicapped by laziness”

5. “You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”

6. “Life’s as kind as you let it be.”

7. “Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone.”

8. “there is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it in the slow movement of the hands of a clock”

9. “Great art is horseshit, buy tacos.”

10. “You have to die a few times before you can really live.”

11. “I wanted the whole world or nothing.”

12. “If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose”

Thought-Provoking Charles Bukowski Quotes

13. “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”

14. “Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are.”

15. “Without literature, life is hell.”

16. “There are only two things wrong with money: too much or too little.”

19. “being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.”

20. “We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting”

21. “Any asshole can chase a skirt, art takes discipline.”

22. “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

23. “the free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.”

24. “The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting”

25. “Goodness can be found sometimes in the middle of hell.”

Charles Bukowski Quotes on Love 

26. “Find what you love and let it kill you.”

27. “Of course it’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well.”

28. “I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.”

29. “We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”

30. “There is a place in the heart that will never be filled; a space. And even during the best moments, and the greatest times, we will know it.”

31. “I stopped looking for a Dream Girl, I just wanted one that wasn’t a nightmare.”

32. “People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or love.”

33. “Once a woman turns against you, forget it. They can love you, then something turns in them. They can watch you dying in a gutter, run over by a car, and they’ll spit on you.”

34. “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.”

35. “Love is all right for those who can handle the psychic overload. It’s like trying to carry a full garbage can on your back over a rushing river of piss.”

36. “there is always one woman to save you from another and as that woman saves you she makes ready to destroy”

37. “Love is a form of prejudice. You love what you need, you love what makes you feel good, you love what is convenient. How can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them? But you’ll never meet them.”

Charles Bukowski Quotes about drinking  

38. “I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again.”

39. “Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you’re allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It’s like killing yourself, and then you’re reborn. I guess I’ve lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.”

40. “in that drunken place you would like to hand your heart to her and say touch it but then give it back.”

41. “What is your advice to young writers?” “Drink, fuck and smoke plenty of cigarettes.”

42. “That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”

43. “my beerdrunk soul is sadder than all the dead christmas trees of the world.”

Charles Bukowski Quotes on Life 

44. “Anything is a waste of time unless you are fucking well or creating well or getting well or looming toward a kind of phantom-love-happiness.”

45. “Life’s as kind as you let it be.”

46. “Understand me. I’m not like an ordinary world. I have my madness, I live in another dimension and I do not have time for things that have no soul.”

47. “Without literature, life is hell.”

48. “It was like the beginning of life and laughter. It was the real meaning of the sun”

49. “nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. it’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it.”

50. “Our disappointment sits between us.”

51. “Are you becoming what you’ve always hated?”

52. “People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.”

53. “In my next life I want to be a cat. To sleep 20 hours a day and wait to be fed. To sit around licking my ass.”

54. “There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure and moving on. Yet most people are stricken with fear. They fear failure so much that they fail. They are too conditioned, too used to being told what to do. It begins with the family, runs through school and goes into the business world.”

55. “I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.”

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