Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bob Dylan: The Poet's Poet

The poet Michael McClure on Dylan in 1965: "I absolutely did NOT want to hear Dylan. I imagined, without admitting it to myself, that Dylan was a threat to poetry — or to my poetry. I sensed that a new mode of poetry, or rebirth of an old one, might replace my mode…. Joanna sat me down in front of the speaker and told me to listen to the words. I began to hear what the words were saying, not just the jangling of the guitar and the harmonica and the whining nasal voice. The next thing I knew I was crying. It was "Gates Of Eden.”… I had the idea that I was hallucinating, that it was William Blake's voice coming out of the walls and I stood up and put my hands on the walls and they were vibrating.

Then I went back to those people who had tried to get me to listen and I told them that I thought the revolution had begun."

Michael McClure's 1974 Rolling Stone article captures some of the profound excitement and revolutionary change Dylan represented in the mid-1960s.

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