The singer and songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on today for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” in the words of the Swedish Academy. He is the first American to win since the novelist Toni Morrison, in 1993.
In a 2013 Op-Ed Essay in the New York Times Bill Wyman wrote, “Mr. Dylan’s work remains utterly lacking in conventionality, moral sleight of hand, pop pabulum or sops to his audience. His lyricism is exquisite; his concerns and subjects are demonstrably timeless, and few poets of any era have seen their work bear more influence.”
Below is my poem, “Gone Electric.” It is a poetic tribute to Bob Dylan. It includes one line “And played the greatest poet – lyricist ever seen.” Today’s award kind of validates my point of view. The poem is my most viewed poem and second most viewed post on my blog with over 2,000 views a day.
If Dylan were sitting with me I could help but ask, “How does it feel?” to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Our music choice back then was known as folk
the surgeon general told us not to smoke
Acoustic was our favorite sound
In Washington, D.C. The Beatles played in the round
We cried when JFK was assassinated that November day
and why the Vietnam War we asked LBJ
The Newport Folk Festival was going strong
And Bob Dylan wrote our favorite song
On television we all got Lost in Space
And Ryan O’Neil made hearts throb on Payton Place
Back in ’65 three girls sang with a sound which was Supreme
And played the greatest poet – lyricist ever seen
And the times were a changing because of him
Playboy Playmate Sara Lownds was his wife, young and trim
She gave him three sons and a beautiful little girl
Some before, some after the tour that rocked the world
His acoustic half-set sounded the same
the electric-half critics called a shame
and his music still changed the world
Even as shouts of Judas started to swirl
They hated him at the Royal Albert Hall
and were glad when he took that horrible fall
some thought after his motorcycle accident
That his life and career were totally spent.
Eight years before he toured the world again,
He wouldn’t let the critics boss him with their poison pen
And his music never really would change
Though his voice now shows age’s strain
To the arenas, stadiums, and theaters we still all come
and he sings putting the sunshine: in our lives glum
Just Like a Woman, Mr. Tambourine Man and Desolation Row
Then with Like a Rolling Stone he closes the show.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Originally published in:
WORDS..RHYMES..POETRY & PROSE! as Electric Dylan
“Gone Electric” is the title poem in “Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection” available on Amazon.
Photo Credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Description: Bob Dylan, onstage in Victoria-Gasteiz, at the Azkena Rock Festival.
Date 26 June 2010, 21:14
Source Bob Dylan
Author Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, The Baptist Standard (ghostwriter), Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine, WORDS..RHYMES..POETRY & PROSE, and more. His novels The Rebuilder and Miss Sarah’s Secret as well as Charlie’s Bells: A Short Story Anthology and the award-winning short story The Cup, and the short stories Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, The Paintings and poetry collection Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.