25 Powerful Charles Bukowski Quotes on Life, Society, and Writing

As we move through our daily routine, we often can use some thought-provoking quotes to reinvigorate our lives and spark new ideas.

Today, we have curated these Charles Bukowski quotes to help you see life from a brand new perspective. 

What’s your favorite body of work from writer Charles Bukowski?

Charles Bukowski is a well-known German-American writer that has written dozens of major works including poems, novels, and short stories.

His work often dives into the life of the everyday person and discusses universal themes including relationships and the turmoils of work.

Are you trudging through a workday and in need of inspiration? Or do you need hilarious quotes to unwind? Look no further than these Charles Bukowski quotes.

We also have a collection of Mary Oliver quotes to live by.

Be sure to also check those out.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Check out more inspirational quotes on our motivational quotes category page.

Motivational Charles Bukowski quotes

1. “Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Charles Bukowski

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

3. “It’s better to do a dull thing with style than a dangerous thing without it.” – Charles Bukowski

4. “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” – Charles Bukowski

5. “What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” – Charles Bukowski

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6. “Life’s as kind as you let it be.”  – Charles Bukowski

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Charles Bukowski quotes about life

7. “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.” – Charles Bukowski

8. “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.” – Charles Bukowski

9. “We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us.” – Charles Bukowski

10. “If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.” – Charles Bukowski

11. “Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live.” – Charles Bukowski

12. “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.” – Charles Bukowski

13. “Some people like what you do, some people hate what you do, but most people simply don’t give a damn.” – Charles Bukowski

14. “There are only two things wrong with money: too much or too little.” – Charles Bukowski

15. “Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot.” – Charles Bukowski

16. “You have to die a few times before you can really live.” – Charles Bukowski

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17. “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” – Charles Bukowski

18. “Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone.” – Charles Bukowski

19. “There will always be something to ruin our lives, it all depends on what or which finds us first. We are always ripe and ready to be taken.” – Charles Bukowski

20. “A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover.”  – Charles Bukowski

21. “I often carry things to read so that I will not have to look at the people.” – Charles Bukowski

22. “I don’t like the clean-shaven boy with the necktie and the good job. I like desperate men, men with broken teeth and broken minds and broken ways. They interest me. They are full of surprises and explosions.” – Charles Bukowski

Thought-provoking Charles Bukowski quotes

23. “I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.” – Charles Bukowski

24. “Bad taste creates many more millionaires than good taste.” – Charles Bukowski

25. “Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.” – Charles Bukowski

When’s the last time you’ve written something down? 

Much of Charles Bukowski’s work is inspired by the everyday life of his hometown: Los Angeles.

Bukowski’s work shines among others because he refuses to forget the lifestyle that he grew up in.

He finds life lessons within his turmoils and uses those experiences to connect with others. 

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To better work through your own experiences, why not try journaling?

Just setting aside a few minutes of journaling a day can bring many positive effects, including reduced stress and anxiety. 

What powerful Charles Bukowski quote above would you want to share with a friend?

Are there any other writers that Everyday Power should showcase?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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  1. Ted

    September 5, 2021 at 12:28 PM

    Hey does anyone know that quote of his about how mofos who deceived us think we don’t know it because we don’t say anything about it?

  2. Helga Valpy

    May 25, 2021 at 2:52 PM

    For now, I just want to say ~ WoW!………… I didn’t want to stop reading until I saw them ‘All’.
    I only just got to know of the Author, because I want to send my Nephew a Book, and Charles Bukowski is Who he picked 🙂

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