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Dylan— an Ode

Dylan— an Ode June 22, 2021

DYLAN

 

He was a shape-shifter

A man of many styles

He wore a thousand different hats

Was known for his wiles.

 

One minute just a folkie

One minute intoned the blues

One minute a rock and roller

A country artist too.

 

He even sang some Gospel

Some spirituals, some hymns

But with all those different types of songs

It never limited him.

 

He was more than just his music

And not really like the sphinx

He dodged the critics readily

Like avoiding a fatal jinx

 

‘I’m not part of no movement’

He said with a loud voice

But swept up in the flood of music

He really had no choice.

 

He created his own mythology

About his hoary past

But sang with such sincerity

His songs will always last.

 

What counts as real authenticity

What counts as truth in song

Must one experience everything

Or is such singing wrong?

 

One minute just a Zimmerman

A Jokerman, a poet

Dylan Thomas was a muse

Though few fans know it.

 

Thomas cried ‘Do not go gentle

Into that good night’

But instead of raging, Bob sang

And shed a little light.

 

He wanted recognition

But despised seeking fame

He called songs a serious thing

More than a musical game.

 

He believed in live performance

And the revelation it could be

Despite its imperfections

It transformed him and me…

 

I’m thankful for Bob’s music

His witness in his songs,

And thankful I’ve not endured his life

Or the spotlight so long.

 

Somewhere a tambourine man

Along the watchtower wall

Is playing a Dylan tune

For one or perhaps for all.

 

Long after his ship comes in

After painting his masterpiece

His music will still minister

Hope and sweet release.

 

June 12, 2021


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