28 Hard-Hitting Charles Bukowski Quotes

Life has the ability to bring you down, make you doubt yourself, and question your beliefs. In times like those, there’s nothing that can help you as some good old Charles Bukowski quotes.

Charles Bukowski was a German-American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. He was famous for writing about ordinary people and their ordinary lives, which is what makes him relevant even today, almost three decades after his death.

People have been able to find solace and understanding in his often humorous and grotesque works, and his musings about love and life are some of the most quoted words of an American poet.

So, if you’re feeling down and need something to remind you that life is indeed worth living, you know what to do. Reading these 28 Charles Bukowski quotes is the perfect solution.

The 28 Best Charles Bukowski Quotes to Remind You That Life Is Beautiful

Best Charles Bukowski Quotes About Love

#1. “Find what you love and let it kill you.”

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

#3. “I was glad I wasn’t in love, that I wasn’t happy with the world, because I like being at odds with everything. People in love often become edgy, dangerous. They lose their sense of perspective and their sense of humor. Then, they become a nervous psychotic bore. They even become killers.”

#4. “But what can I make of love when we are all born at a different time and place and only meet through a trick of centuries and a chance three steps to the left?”

#5. “Love is kind of like when you see a fog in the morning when you wake up before the sun comes out. It’s just a little while, and then it burns away… Love is but a fog that burns with the first daylight of beauty.”

#6. “When love becomes a command, then hatred can become a pleasure.”

#7. “Love is all right for those who can handle the psychic overload. It is like trying to carry a full garbage can on your back over a rushing river of p*ss.”

#8. “God, love is more strange than numerals, more strange than grass on fire, more strange than the dead body of a child drowned in the bottom of a tub. We know so little, we know so much we don’t know enough.”

#9. “Love breaks my bones, and then I laugh.”

Best Charles Bukowski Quotes About Life

#10. “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live.”

#11. “Somebody once asked me what my theory of life was, and I said, ‘Don’t try.’ That fits the writing, too. I don’t try; I just type.”

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

#13. “The more cats you have, the longer you live. If you have a hundred cats, you’ll live 10 times longer than if you have 10. Someday this will be discovered, and then people will have a thousand cats and live forever. It’s truly ridiculous.”

#14. “The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn’t interest you.”

#15. “What matters most in life is how well you walk through the fire.”

#16. “In life, we really have nothing to do but drink wine and make love.”

Best Charles Bukowski Quotes About Writing

#17. “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”

#18. “If I stop writing, then I am dead. And that’s the only way I’ll stop: dead.”

#19. “It’s better to do a dull thing with style than a dangerous thing without it.”

#20. “When I say that basically writing is a hard hustle, I don’t mean that it is a bad life if one can get away with it. It’s the miracle of miracles to make a living by the typer.”

#21. “In my work, as a writer, so I only photograph, in words, what I see.”

#22. “If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. Or it could mean jail and derision. It could mean mockery isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”

#23. “It’s when you begin to lie to yourself in a poem in order to simply make a poem, that you fail.”

Inspirational Charles Bukowski Quotes

#24. “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.”

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

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

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

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

A Few Parting Words

Words are the most powerful weapons and tools at your disposal. They can make you or break you, so knowing how to use them is quite an important skill to have. Not many people knew that as well as Charles Bukowski, which is why his words are still relevant and hard-hitting even today.

No matter what you are going through and how difficult and unpredictable life gets, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. In this case, that light can be found in some of the best Charles Bukowski quotes, and, honestly, there’s nothing better to remind you of how wonderful life really is.

Image source: Charles Bukowski photo by archyw