It’s poetry all right


October 15, 2016 by AK

Consider the following statements.

  1. Thelonious Monk was a musician.
  2. Bob Dylan is a musician.

Technically, (2) as true as (1) as long as a person who makes a living singing songs and playing a musical instrument is a musician. On the other hand, there’s something ridiculous about (2) placed next to (1).

Consider, then, these two claims:

  1. Wallace Stevens wrote poetry.
  2. Bob Dylan wrote poetry.

At first glance, the juxtaposition is also ridiculous, but if one thinks of Dylan’s poetic texts as lyrics, bearing in mind they are supposed to be sung, they deserve a second glance, at least. They qualify as literature, regardless of whether they are worthy of a Nobel.

This said, Gary Shteyngart’s wisecrack was great:

I totally get the Nobel committee. Reading books is hard.

And then a third example comes to mind:

  1. Shapeless verse read by a handful of critics and academic is poetry.
  2. Bob Dylan’s lyrics is poetry.


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