Wednesday, August 14, 2013


1) The poem used by the Levi's commercial is called "The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski.
2) The commercial's use of the poem is ironic because it urges the audience live their own life, be independent, and think for themselves. Except the audience is actually supposed to sit there like an empty-headed consumer and do what the commercial really wants them to do, which is not think and buy Levi's.
3) I don't think the poem reflects Bukowski's reputation. I read Bukowski's biography, and his life was difficult-- his childhood was filled with beatings and bullies, and his young adulthood was spent working menial jobs and drinking. Knowing the poem, I was expecting a happily ever after ending, something to the effect of "...and then he started writing, gave up alcohol, became wildly successful, and died a happy man, The End." However, his writing career never made him enough money to support himself, so he was forced to continue working terrible jobs, and was unable to stop drinking. The poem is about finding your way out of darkness through self-determination and bravery, but it seems that Bukowski never overcame his own darkness. Maybe the poem is his attempt at making sure no one suffers like he did.
4) To find the poem, I Google searched "you are marvelous the gods wait to delight in you" because the last line was the one I remembered most easily. I skimmed over the results and found "The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski," which I Google searched again. When the right poem came up, I knew I had the right title. Next, I searched "Charles Bukowski biography," and found/read three sources: one at, one at Wikipedia, and one at I got most of my information from the Poetry Foundation article, and used the others as supplements/double-checks.

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