Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Bob Dylan Poet? Edition

From this Ian Bell post:
Writing about all of this, I reached a couple of rough conclusions. First, it seemed to me that the 'problem' of Dylan and poetry was poetry’s problem. It stands as a difficulty, in other words, for those who claim to define the form, even by a process of elimination, in an age that has witnessed the collapse of formalism.
Second, I thought I could see and hear something inherent to recent American verse in Dylan’s performances of the words. It struck me that there is a line of descent from the 'stepped triadic' of William Carlos Williams, to Ginsberg’s 'breath unit', to 'Like a Rolling Stone'. There is an identifiable tradition at work, in other words, one founded ultimately in American speech.
How do you arrive at a major literary artist, one who in no sense compares with the standard songwriter, one who employs the strategies, allusiveness and metaphorical density of poetry, yet who isn’t – cannot be? – a poet? As I say, the arbiters of verse have a problem, not least in the era of 'open form'. The name of the problem is Bob Dylan.
HT: Prairie Progressive




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