Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

More On Dylan

I've gone through life thinking the line "It's life and life only" was Al Stewart's (he has a song which uses it as a refrain) but I found out today it's one of Dylan's. I suppose Stewart was paying homage. No reason he shouldn't. It's a great line- eminently quotable; there's a whole philosophy in it.

Dylan is full of great lines. He's a channeller. He opens himself up to whatever's out there- and much of what comes through is just words- but every so often it's rather better than that. With his best songs it's like watching a thunder storm- lots of roiling and moiling and every so often the lightning strike. Some poets take more care than Dylan does to craft the stuff that comes in between- so that there are fewer duff rhymes and clumsy formulations (among fellow song-writers Leonard Cohen is a good example, he's a very meticulous writer) but few of them achieve more strikes than Dylan does. There are poets who have acquired deathless reputations on the strength of as many strikes as you could count on your fingers, but Dylan has hundreds and hundreds.
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