Ambiguity and Abstraction in Bob Dylan?s Lyrics
To many people contemporary poetry is a turn-off. The reason for this is that the majority of these poems are boring. They are so because they fail to enable people to identify with them. The bulk of modern poetry is no longer about reader identification but about information transfer, information that could just as easily be conveyed in a prose form. These poems are written merely to convey the poet's thoughts and feelings about a specific event, situation or place he or she has experienced or is in the act of experiencing. The poet is not necessarily concerned with whether the reader is moved or not by the poem, so long as he or she understands clearly the information the poet is trying to convey. This may consist of some "important" insight gained from an experience, or it could be (as is usually the case) a jaded statement or commentary about some mundane aspect of contemporary life.
The popular song at its best, however, does more than this. It excites both the imagination and emotions; it enables you to unlock your own highly personal box of images, memories, connections and associations. This is most readily evidenced in the songs of Bob Dylan. Even the most perfunctory of his songs is able to do this to a greater extent than most "serious" poetry. This is because his songs (and to a lesser extent songs in general) frequently utilise imprecise and abstract statements rather than particular and specific ones. Contemporary poetry, on the other hand, does the exact opposite of this: it utilises particular and specific statements rather than imprecise and abstract ones.
Dylan is not afraid to generalise, for he knows that it is only through generalisation that the reader can recognise the specific. Keats understood this when he said that a poem 'should surprise by a fine excess, and not by singularity' and that 'it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost as a remembrance' (letter to John Taylor, 27 February 1818).
David Bleich, in Readings and Feelings champions the creative powers of the reader. He believes writing about literature should not involve suppressing readers' individual concerns, anxieties, passions and enthusiasms because 'each person's most urgent motivations are to understand himself'. And as a response to a literary work always helps us find out something about ourselves, introspection and spontaneity are to be encouraged. Every act of response, he says, reflects the shifting motivations and perceptions of the reader at the moment of reading, and even the most idiosyncratic and autobiographical response to the text should be heard sympathetically. In this way the reader is able to construct, or create, a personal exegesis by utilising the linguistic permutations inherent in the text to construct units of meaning constituted from a predominantly autobiographical frame of reference. The ambiguities present in Dylan's oeuvre enable the listener to do exactly this.
Jeffrey Side has had poetry published in various magazines including: T.O.P.S., The White Rose, Poetry Salzburg Review, ism, Sphinx and Homeground. And his poems have appeared on various poetry web sites such as Poethia, nthposition, Ancient Heart Magazine, Blazevox, hutt and Cybpher Anthology.
He has reviewed poetry for New Hope International, Stride Magazine, Acumen and Shearsman Magazine. From 1996 to 2000 he was the assistant editor of The Argotist magazine. He now runs The Argotist Online web site:
Savage Nature: The Life of Ted Hughes
One of the most important poets of the post-war period, Edward James Hughes (1930-1998), was drawn towards the primitive. He was enchanted by the beauty of the natural world, frequently portraying its cruel and savage temperament in his work as a reflection of his own personal suffering and mystical beliefs - convinced that modern man had lost touch with the primordial side of his nature.
Life is a Fantasy
LIFE IS A FANTASY!
The Plane from Iquitos [1959-Part One]
Iquitos & the AmazonPart One
Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog
Emlyn Williams Theatre, Mold, North Wales: 20th February 2003
Antidotes for an Alibi
Amy King's first full-length collection, Antidotes for an Alibi, insists that we examine the deceptive clarity of our actions and the goals that motivate us. How does one actually get from "A" to "B"-and is there ever really a "B"? What color is the white space between "A" and "B"? Upon closer inspection, surface realities reveal themselves to be porous and fragile, layered with textures and grains that lead the eye on varying pathways. So what are we to do in a world of newspaper narratives that instruct us toward tidy endings, murmuring that such endings are possible and even inevitable?
Infected Ideologies [a Poetic Portrait]
the disease of extremismis infectious-;whoever cannot think oftheir childgrowing up without itis part of the phenomenon! (the choice of the day).fanaticism,--with a powerful ideologyare seeds for suicide!murder: givingreasons to rage!...ask:leninistchehitlerbin ladenthey will show youto a nobleact of death!...(that is what they say).throw out:poverty,the disadvantaged-save the ideology,that is the infected,the choice!?
Here And There
My eyes opened. I am still alive;Living on planet earth.Though unconscious for many hours;Unaware of existence,Unknowing of life,Incognizant of humanityLiving in a space of void,Resident of nothingness,Here, but not here.There, but not there.
Do you ever stare at the paper, waiting for poetic inspiration? Well, you can stop waiting and start using systematic techniques for creating poetry. If it seems too mechanical or artificial at first, don't worry. The point is just to get you writing, because creativity is stimulated by work.
The Valley Of Pain
We were exiled from the Garden of Eden. Its sinless wonders nevermore to regain.So every man on life's toilsome journey,Must enter the valley of pain.
Contract of Death [Now: in SPANISH and English]
Contract of Death
A World That Doesnt Care
War bombs may explode demolishing man and land.Hurricanes may devastate and leave us entirely bare.Earthquakes may devour and swallow up old landmarks.But nothing is as destructive as a world that doesn't care.
Kafka lands resurrected in Crewedeposited by a silvery alien craft,And whilst he is wondering what to doHe is asked to show his passOr pay an instant one off fineAt a cash dispenser of his choiceAnd they are checking all the timeOn his irises face and voice.
Ode to: The Ice Maiden of Ampatos Summit [now in: English and Spanish]
Dedícate to Antonio Castillo. L. Of. Los Andes Universitario
I Hate The Wait (Weight)
I get up in the morning
Way of Life: Rhymes of the Inca [four poems: see in Spanish and English NOW!]
Way of Life: Rhymes of the Inca
Arizona Blue--Gunfighter: The Wolves Nest [Chapter One of Seven: The North]
Review Of Stephen B. Wileys First Book Of Poetry: HERO ISLAND
Poet Stephen B. Wiley's first book of poetry, Hero Island, reflects tender snapshots and reminiscent overviews of various stages of his life as a youngster working on a farm in New Jersey, summer vacations spent with his family in Northern Vermont, and his positive stance on life.
Two Poems with Triggers [and a commentary]
So Many Einstein's
Famous Poets Quotations - Top 30 Poetry Quotations by Famous Poets
So many looked to you for inspiration,
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