Bob Dylan And The Golden Loom (Part II): Edward Taylor

Bob Dylan And The Golden Loom (Part I) appears here.

by Larry Fyffe

Black the Puritan view of mankind is, but as a poet, Edward Taylor is creative. In his poems, he cannot resist Baroque conceits, nor the flowery images of the ornamental Rococo literary style.

In the poem following, the Puritan poet compares himself, via an extended metaphor, to a loom  worked by the masterful hands of the Almighty:

Make me thy loom then, knit therein this twine
And make thy holy spirit, Lord, wind quills
Then weave the web thyself. The yarn is fine
Thine ordinances make my fulling mills
Then dye the same in heavenly colours choice
All pinked with varnished flowers of paradise
(Edward Taylor: Housewifery)

The singer/songwriter quoted below reveals that he’s aware of Taylors’ Metaphysical style, though  long ago the poet to paradise has gone:

First we wash our feet at the immortal shine
And then our shadows meet, and we drink the wine
I see hungry clouds above up above your face
And then the tears roll down, what a bitter taste
And then you drift away on a summer's day
Where the wildflowers bloom
With your golden loom
(Bob Dylan: Golden Loom)

Coincidence or not, there’s the Dylanesque ‘rhyme twist” in the poem and song:~ ‘twine’/’fine’; ~ ‘shine”/’wine’.

If you want it, you can have ~ ‘shine’/’wine’: ~ ‘fine’/’wine:

Nay, though I make no pay for this red wine
And scarce do say I thank you for it: strange thing!
Yet were thy silver skies my beer bowl fine
I find my Lord would fill it to the brim
Then make my life, Lord, to thy praise proceed
For thy rich blood, which is my drink indeed
(Edward Taylor: Stupendous Love ! All Saints' Astonishment!)

Bob Dylan, having a Jewish background, with Edward Taylor disagrees:

Never could learn to drink that blood
And call it wine
Never could learn to hold you, love
And call you mine
(Bob Dylan: Tight Connection To My Heart)

Below, the Christian point of view:

The human frame, my glorious Lord, I spy
A golden still with heavenly choice drugs filled
(Edward Taylor: The Human Frame, My Glorious Lord, I Spy)

Below, that point of view is mocked:

Someone must have slipped a drug in your wine
You're gulping it down, and you've lost your mind
(Bob Dylan: Pay In Blood)

With the same motif as in Taylor’s aforementioned poems, anaphora abounds in the following lines:

Shall not thy rose my garden fresh perfume
Shall not thy beauty my dull heart assail
Shall not thy golden gleams run through this gloom
Shall my black velvet mask thy fair face veil?
Pass over my faults: shine forth, bright sun ; arise!
Enthrone thy rosy self within my eyes
(Edward Taylor: The Reflection)

In the song lyrics below, the Dylanesque twist abounds: ~ ‘perfume’/’gloom’; ~ ‘perfume’/’loom’,
and ~’assail’/’veil’; ~ ‘tail’/’veil’:

I walk across the bridge in the dismal light
Where all the cars are stripped between the gates of night
I see the trembling lion with the lotus flower tail
And then I kiss your lips as I lift your veil
But you're gone, and then all I seem to recall is the smell of perfume
And your golden loom
(Bob Dylan: Golden Loom)

Nevertheless, the singer/ songwriter indicates he’s been netted more than once by followers of the “Fisher of Men”, and it’s all because of their golden loom:

Smoky autumn night, stars up in the sky
I see the sailing boats across the bay go by
Eucalyptus trees hang above the street
And I turn my head, for you're approaching me
Moonlight on the water, fisherman's daughter
Floating in to my room
With a golden loom
(Bob Dylan: Golden Loom)


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