Saturday, October 15, 2016

Arlene Corwin writes

It’s Always For Others To Interpret

Dylan’s won the Nobel Prize.
You write, you fall, you rise,
Or rise and fall
Pleasing none or all.
You’ve written self…part of…
Round themes of evil, good, dark shadows, love -
All universal;
That, despite the personal,
For I is always you is we
With never objectivity,
But always subjectivity,
Seeing what we need to see.

The ‘prize of prizes’ always questioned
While the choosers are sequestered, and
We never know their standard.

Be yourself! That’s a command!
You’ll never will, unanimously,
Be a star (though shining brightly),
Idolized by all the masses
(Think of Jesus).

You can just write for self alone,
Not cloning some source you admire.
Others will attire you
With clothes of their imagining,
Projecting who and what they are.
Your star will always be you
Till you die and after.

 Image result for bob dylan kobra painting
The Times They are A-changing -- Eduardo Kobra


  1. When a reporter once asked Bob Dylan what his songs were about, he replied, "Some of my songs are about four minutes, some are about five, and some, believe it or not, are about 11 or 12." Robert Allen Zimmerman (Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham)grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota. But he gained fame as "Bob Dylan." According to Robert Shelton ("No Direction Home") , when he was 17, he told a girlfriend that he had found a "great name, Bob Dillon," perhaps in honor of Matt Dillon, the hero of the long-running radio and TV western drama, "Gunsmoke," but he started to spell it "Dylan" when he arrived in New York at 20. He insisted, however, that he did not take his name from the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas: "Dylan Thomas's poetry is for people that aren't really satisfied in their bed, for people who dig masculine romance." However, especially in his early years, he performed under a number of pseudonyms: In 1959 he played piano as Elston Gunnn for Bobby Vee on two occasions in 1959; in the early 1960s he recorded as Blind Boy Grunt for "Broadside," a folk magazine and record label; in 1964 he was Bob Landy on "The Blues Project," an anthology album by Elektra Records, Tedham Porterhouse on Ramblin' Jack Elliott's album, "Jack Elliott;" in 1972 he was Robert Milkwood Thomas [a reference to Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood"] on Steve Goodman's album, "Somebody Else's Troubles." John Hammond signed him to Columbia Records in 1961; his first album, released the following year as "Bob Dylan," included two original compositions but consisted mainly of familiar folk, blues, and gospel music; in its first year it only sold 5,000 copies, just enough to break even financially, gaining the nickname "Hammond's Folly" inside the recording industry. But it was his second album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" (1963) that cemented his reputation as a songwriter and performer. The album's first track, "Blowin' in the Wind," became a big hit for other artists, while "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" marked a new direction in songwriting, blending a stream-of-consciousness, imagist lyrical attack with traditional folk form. Allen Ginsburg claimed that Dylan's technique had been inspired by his fellow Beat writer, Jack Kerouac: "So those chains of flashing images you get in Dylan, like 'the motorcycle black Madonna two-wheeled gypsy queen and her silver studded phantom lover,' they're influenced by Kerouac's chains of flashing images and spontaneous writing, and that spreads out into the people." Dylan's own nasal vocal style was unsettling to many (Joyce Carol Oates called it "raw..., as if sandpaper could sing"), so his early fame rested on cover versions by other performers, such as Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, the Byrds, Sonny & Cher, Manfred Mann, and the Turtles. His third album, "The Times They Are a-Changin'," became more more politicized than his earlier work, and he was generally regarded as a protest singer, but he quickly grew tired of being referred to as "the spokesman of his generation." In 1965, his six-minute single, "Like a Rolling Stone," revolutionized pop music; Bruce Springsteen called it "that snare shot sounded like somebody'd kicked open the door to your mind;" it opened the album, "Highway 61 Revisited," which included the 11-minute "Desolation Row" with allusions to figures such as Albert Einstein, Nero, Noah, Cain and Abel, Ophelia, Romeo, Cinderella, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound.

  2. In 1966, after a motorcycle accident, he largely withdrew from public for almost 8 years, though he continued to record. In 1974 he released another successful long (8 minute) single, the centerpiece of his Rolling Thunder Revue tour, which featured a revolving cast of about 100 performers including Baez, Elliott, Ginsburg, Joni Mitchell, Roger McGuinn (of the Byrds), T-Bone Burnett, David Mansfield, Mick Ronson, Scarlet Rivera, and playwright Sam Shepard. The tour provided the backdrop to his four-hour film, "Renaldo and Clara" [1978]. It was about this time that he became a "born-again Christian" and recorded two albums of original gospel music. Though the albums he recorded in the early 1980s were uneven in quality and appeal, they all made the Billboard Top 50 -- until "Knocked Out Loaded" [1986] became the first since 1963 to do so (though the 11-minute "Brownsville Girl" by Dylan and Shepard has since been regarded as a work of genius). In 1986 and 1987 he temporarily abandoned his solo career and beacame a member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Grateful Dead, and then in 1988 he formed the Traveling Wilburys with fellow superstars Petty, George Harrison of the Beatles, Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra, and Roy Orbison. In doing so, he once again rose to the top of his profession. He also began to receive official recognition for his work: That year he was inducted into the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; in 1991 he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; in 1997 he received his first solo Grammy for Album of the Year (for "Time Out of Mind," his first collection of original material in 8 years, though in 1980 he had received a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal performance, Male for his single "Gotta Serve Somebody"), performed at the World Eucharistic Conference in Bologna, Italy, where pope John Paul II offered a homily based on "Blowin' in the Wind," and was presented by president Bill Clinton with a Kennedy Center Honor; between 1994 and 2006, six of his songs with "qualitative or historical significance" were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame; in 2000 he won the Polar Music Prize (presented by Carl XVI of Sweden) and his first Oscar (for "Things Have Changed" from the film "Wonder Boys"); in 2004 his autobiography, "Chronicles: Volume One" was nominated for a National Book Award; Martin Scorsese's 2005 film biography, "No Direction Home," received a Peabody Award in 2006 and a Columbia-duPont Award in 2007; in 2008 he got a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation; in 2012 president Barack Obama awarded him a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US; in 2013 he received the accolade of Légion d'Honneur; and in 2016 a Nobel Prize in Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

  3. Some folks are disturbed Dylan won the Nobel for Literature. No reason to be surprised because the Nobel people gave the Peace Prize to Al Gore, who some say invented the Internet, and Barack Obama when he was only months in office, an office he now leaves in January 2017. These three awards speak loudly about how the Nobel Committee views the Almost United States of America.


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