Middle Children In Charles Bukowski's 'Betting On The Muse'

878 Words4 Pages
I read a study last week that described middle children as the most forgotten child. It didn’t use those words exactly, but with phrases like “least talkative”, “least bold” and “lack of attention” it’s easy to get the gist. As the second oldest in a family of four kids, I originally agreed with this sentiment. I’ve had more than my fair share of being forgotten by my parents at shops. Twice the amount of all my siblings combined. But, in Charles Bukowski’s poem “Betting on the Muse”, he describes how the fear of deteriorating and being forgotten motivates an individual to work towards becoming someone of significance. This idea he expressed made me pause and reflect. Perhaps being the middle “forgotten” child is really a benefit towards who I will become. When I was six years old I was forgotten at a Dairy Queen by my parents. They hadn’t meant to, of course, and with four rambunctious children always wandering it was a miracle it hadn’t happened earlier. I was in the bathroom for only a few minutes, and when I discovered that my parents had up and left me, I collapsed into a puddle of tears in the middle of the restaurant. I couldn’t understand how they had forgotten me. My life subsequent to that point has been a constant work in progress to make sure that I won’t be forgotten again, be that during, or after my life. Bukowski perfectly captured this feeling with the phrase, “to no longer be / recognized, / just to be an old man / like other old / men”. This is a

More about Middle Children In Charles Bukowski's 'Betting On The Muse'

Open Document