American poets and writers to whom Dylan pays tribute: an index

 by Larry Fyffe


Bob Dylan’s songs often crunch past and present and future time into a singularity.

To give listeners a linear time perspective on America poets or writers that Dylan actually or seemingly alludes to in his lyrics, here are birth and death dates of writers that I’ve referred to in my articles.

The writers cited are listed in chronological order by date of birth, and in each case followed by a one line summary of their position in literature.  Beneath that is a link to an article on this site that includes mention of this poet – although please do note that these range from articles that are primarily dedicated to the link between the poet and Bob Dylan, to articles that touch upon the writer in less detail.

We are aware from correspondence both from academics and students that this site is being used for the purposes of studying Bob Dylan’s work, and of course we find that incredibly gratifying.  Indeed we hope that this list might be of help in that work.

All that we ask in return is that if you do utilise this page, or indeed extract data from any other page from this site, you do cite the author of the page and the website “Untold Dylan” as the source.

Sigourney   1791-1865

Pocohantas: The Christian escape from a world of woe.

Hawthorne 1804-1864

The Scarlet Letter: Puritan use of shame and stigma.

Longfellow 1807-1882

Courtship of Miles Standish: A love triangle in early a Puritan colony

Whittier       1807-1892

Chapel Of Hermits: Quaker abolitionist and a lover of nature

Poe              1809-1849

The Raven: Haunted by thoughts of past love

Melville       1819-1891

Moby Dick: The unknowable purpose of existence

Whitman     1819-1892

Leaves Of Grass: The triumph and terror of technology

Timrod        1829-1867

Charleston: Celebration of the Confederate States

Dickinson    1830-1886

Wind Like A Bugle: Ominous signs of death in nature

Frost            1874-1963

Road Not Taken:The lasting effects of decisions made

London        1876-1916

Call Of The Wild: Exploitation of animals and workers

Sandburg     1878-1967

Honey And Salt: The quest for love under capitalist economics

Lindsay        1879-1931

The Congo: Racist exploitation by colonialism

Stevens        1879-1955

Sunday Morning: Making comfort out of chaos

Runyon         1880-1946

Lily Of St. Pierre: The honest man outside of the law

Williams       1883-1963

Paderson: Darwinism reformulated as Creationism

Pound           1885-1972

The Cantos: The whirlwind revolt against nihilism

Millay            1892-1950

Dirge Without Music: The injustice of an uncaring God

MacLeish       1892 -1982

End Of The World: The capitalist creation of nihilism

Cummings   1894-1962

May I Feel Said He: The postmodern second coming of William Blake

Fitzgerald     1896-1940

The Great Gatsby: The futility of romanticism in a layered society

Crane            1899-1932

The River: An attempt to escape from established authority

Hughes         1906-1967

I Too: The fight for civil rights in America

Ferlinghetti   1919-

In Goya’s Great Scenes: allusion to famous paintings

Ginsberg       1926-1997

Howl: Criticism of capitalism and conformity

Corso            1930-2001

Boom, Boom, Boom: Ironic tweatment of the Nuclear Age

Bremster       1934-1998

City Madness: The chaos of modern city living

To come: List of British And French poets and writers alluded to by Bob Dylan

You might also find the index “Poets and Themes within Dylan’s work” to be of help.

What else is on the site

1: Over 450 reviews of Dylan songs.  There is an index to these in alphabetical order on the home page, and an index to the songs in the order they were written in the Chronology Pages.

2: The Chronology.  We’ve taken the songs we can find recordings of and put them in the order they were written (as far as possible) not in the order they appeared on albums.  The chronology is more or less complete and is now linked to all the reviews on the site.  We have also produced overviews of Dylan’s work year by year.     The index to the chronologies is here.

3: Bob Dylan’s themes.  We publish a wide range of articles about Bob Dylan and his compositions.  There is an index here.

4:   The Discussion Group    We now have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook.  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

5:  Bob Dylan’s creativity.   We’re fascinated in taking the study of Dylan’s creative approach further.  The index is in Dylan’s Creativity.

6: You might also like: A classification of Bob Dylan’s songs and partial Index to Dylan’s Best Opening Lines and our articles on various writers’ lists of Dylan’s ten greatest songs.

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews


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