Can Bob Dylan Be Saved (Part VIII): The Raft Of The Medusa

Text by Larry Fyffe, recordings selected by Tony (with a plea that you please listen to this cover of Duquesne while reading Larry’s commentary)

* * *

If one were inclined to do so, many of the rhymes for ‘door’ employed by Bob Dylan might be considered to come from his unconscious ‘collective’ memory. That is to say: once upon a door in the deep blue Jungian Sea, five poets float – all influences on singer/singer. They are by name: Edward Taylor, Ralph Emerson, Henry Longfellow, Edgar Poe, and Emily Dickinson.

Ancient Rhymers they be ~

And while my puzzled thoughts about it pore
I find the the bread of life in it at my door
(Edward Taylor: A Kenning Through Astronomy Divine)

Complete evaporation to the core
Though I tried, and failed to find the door
(Bob Dylan: Love Is Just A Four Letter Word)

Turn the key, and bolt the door
Sweet is death forevermore
(Ralph Emerson: The Past)

From behind the curtain, the boss crossed the floor
He moved his feet, and he bolted the door
(Bob Dylan: Tin Angel)

Barefooted Dervish is not poor
If fate unlock his bosom’s door
(Ralph Emerson: Saadi)

Was a friend to the poor ….
He opened many a door
(Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding)

Behold, he watches at the door
Behold his shadow on the floor
(Ralph Emerson: Saadi)

Babe, I couldn’t even find the door
Couldn’t even see the floor
Bob Dylan: If Not For You)


While thou sittest at thy door
On desert’s yellow floor
(Ralph Emerson: Saadi)

Forever at my door …
While being chained to the floor
(Bob Dylan: You Changed may Life)

Out of an unseen quarry evermore …
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door
(Ralph Emerson: The Snowstorm)

Then he fines you every time you slam the door
I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
(Bob Dylan: Maggie’s Farm)

And next the deacon issued from his door …
A suit of sable bombazine he wore
(Henry Longfellow: The Birds OF Killingworth)

Smoke pouring out of a boxcar door …
In the final end, he won the war
(Bob Dylan: Idiot Wind)

Drag home the stingy harvest, and no more
The feathered gleaners follow to your door
(Henry Longfellow: The Birds Of Killingworth)

Open the door, Richard ….
But I ain’t gonna hear it said no more
(Bob Dylan: Open The Door, Homer)

Oft have I seen at some cathedral door …
Enter, and cross himself, and on the floor
(Henry Longfellow: Divine Commedia)

Lean against your velvet door …
Who crawls across your circus floor
(Bob Dylan: Temporary Like Achilles)

At the end, an open door
Squares of sunshine on the floor
(Henry Longfellow: The Ropewalk)

Your lover who just walked out the door …
Has taken his blankets from the floor
(Bob Dylan: It’s All Over Now Baby Blue)

Through the pale door …
And laugh –  but smile no more
(Edgar Poe: Haunted Door)

I can’t shoot them anymore …
I feel I’m knocking on Heaven’s door
(Bob Dylan: Knocking On Heaven’s Door

Then shuts the door …
Present no more
(Emily Dickinson: The Soul Selects Her Own Society)

I can’t use it anymore …
Feel I’m knocking on Heaven’s door
(Bob Dylan: Knocking On Heaven’s Door)

That I could fear a door …
And never winced before
(Emily Dickinson: I Laughed A Crumbling Laugh)

Blowing like she never blowed before …
Blowing like she’s at my chamber door
(Bob Dylan: Duquesne Whistle)

Out of the foxglove’s door …
I shall but drink the more
(Emily Dickinson: I Taste A Liquor Never Brewed)

Throw my troubles out the door
I don’t need them anymore
(Bob Dylan: Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You)

Finally, the assonant ‘rhyme’ ~ ‘door’/’Lord’:

But Thou, sweet Lord, has with the golden key
Unlocked the door, and made a golden day
(Edward Taylor: Reflection)

Closed the door behind him …
Lord, Lord, they cut George Jackson down
(Bob Dylan: George Jackson)


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One comment

  1. I did have one of a special Golden Day today… it doesn’t seem to be related to Bob Dylan but it may well be in the grand scheme of unseen things happening in our lives !?
    If he has known the exceptional & resilient man who became >> president of South Africa after 26 or so years in prison >> Nelson Mandela then my day was in relation to him & Reggae Music…
    I also want to publish some writing of my own directly related to Mister Bob Dylan… I need to type it and find a publisher in the UK where I lived for 25years… it is very important to me… as it is in relation to someone I knew there for some time until he died. Whoever will read this… I would appreciate if it could remain Confidential… I have never managed to see Bob playing live despite 3 attempts… this wasn’t meant to be obviously but who knows what the Future holds… I may get lucky eventually.

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