So it is a little like history repeats itself. Bod dared go electric. Sweden dared go Bob.
Much of the debate seems to center around – can song writing be poetry?
If we take a look we can say that a song may be written from one of two angles or a combination of the two.
- you get a tune and figure out some words to go with it.
- you’ve figured out some words and get a tune to go with them.
Does either approach preclude the words from being poetry?
Maybe the words were inspired by the music? maybe inspired by something else and music was chosen to broaden the exposure of the words? What poet wouldn’t like to reach an audience?
Maybe the words were inspired by the music? If so then would not the music be like a prompt? How many poets have written work to prompts? Are we going to set standards for acceptable prompts? Remember a prompt is an inspiration. Does that mean the poetry inspired by music is inferior? So should we exclude from poetry words inspired by music?
What shall be the acceptable categories for poetical inspiration? Do we need a governing body of Poeticals to decide and more important to enforce the structure of purity? A licensing board to ensure that no mere songwriter sully the good name of poetry.
Its being done very successfully in popular music, only certain categories are allowed and they must all sound a certain way. They call it the X Factor.
As a poet I am pleased that a poet won the Nobel Prize for literature. I do believe poetry is indeed literature.
As a music lover and fan I am very happy that the songs of my youth are acknowledged as changing the world not just myself.
As an artist I am excited by the fact the Bob has indeed brought it all back home, effortlessly stirring up the frigid & ridged catagorisers of the world. Who knows what great inspirations will fall out? Maybe even a song or two?
“Sinclair Lewis had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first American to do so. Lewis had written Elmer Gantry and was the master of absolute realism, he invented it. He was from Sauk Center, Minnesota.” – Chronicles vol.1 by Bob Dylan. a Book Of The Year.
1A short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung.