Dylan Deserves a Nobel Prize in Literature, Damn It!

In my book, Bob Dylan should win the Noble Prize for literature, and before you scholarly snobs start tsk-tsking that Dylan is a mere folk-singer-rock-star- minstrel, not a poet, let me share with you these gems from past Noble-winning poets.

In this world all the flow’rs wither,

The sweet songs of the birds are brief;

I dream of summers that will last


                         from “In This World” by Sully Prudhomme

Keep dreaming, Sully.  You’ve been dead for 107 years.  Here’s another:

The vase where this verbena is dying

was cracked by a blow from a fan.

It must have barely brushed it,

for it made no sound.

Evening sunshine never

Solace to my window bears,

Morning sunshine elsewhere fares;-

Here are shadows ever.

from “A Sigh” by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

No doubt it loses something in translation.

When I bring to you colored toys, my child,

I understand why there is such a play of colors on clouds, on water,

and why flowers are painted in tints

—when I give colored toys to you, my child.

from “Colored Toys” by Rabindranath Tagore

We can’t blame a bad translation on that one; it was originally written in English.

Ah but not the bottle, not the chicken,

Would I touch, however fine and tender;

Nothing but herself, but Fraulein Anna!

Her I’d set upon the pony, clasping

Both my arms around her, and would gallop

All along the street, along the village,

Up the hill, and stop at Friedli’s hostel –

Then we would be married in the autumn.”

from “Puberty” by Carl Spitteler

Compare the above with this:

Darkness at the break of noon

Shadows even the silver spoon

The handmade blade, the child’s balloon

Eclipses both the sun and moon

To understand you know too soon, there is no sense in trying

or this:

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind

Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves

The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach

Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free

Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands

With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves

Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

or this:

When Ruthie says come see her

In her honky-tonk lagoon

Where I can watch her waltz for free

’Neath her Panamanian moon

An’ I say, “Aw come on now

You must know about my debutante”

An’ she says, “Your debutante just knows what you need

But I know what you want”

or this:

It was Rock-a-day Johnny singin’, “Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa

Our Love’s A-gonna Grow Ooh-wah, Ooh-wah”

I rest my case!



7 thoughts on “Dylan Deserves a Nobel Prize in Literature, Damn It!

  1. Pingback: A Buddhistic Approach to Kafka’s Metamorphosis | You Do Hoodoo?

  2. Pingback: Dylan’s 2015 Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart Tour | You Do Hoodoo?

  3. Pingback: On Bad Poetry (Of Which I’ve Written Lots Of) – You Do Hoodoo?

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