Bob Dylan And Andrew Marvell Part 1


by Larry Fyffe

Andrew Marvell is grouped in with the Metaphysical poets; he advances the “carpe diem’ theme that’s present in the poems of Robert Herrick as well – seize the day, including having have sex every chance you get, before it’s too late.

In the days of the lyrics below, “hue” and “glow” rhyme:

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning glow ....
Now let us sport us while we may
And now, like amorous birds of prey
(Andrew Marvell: To His Coy Mistress)

A theme that runs in the song lyrics below wherein it seems that the author thereof wishes he had a bed big enough, and lots of time to use it:

Why wait any longer for the world to begin
You can have your cake and eat it too
Why wait any longer for the one you love
When he's standing in front of you
(Bob Dylan: Lay Lady Lay)

There be new girls to conquer, and there be new worlds to conquer. In the following poem, there’s a fanciful vision of Puritans seizing a supposed Promised Land to the west.

By not employing the standard English structure “bright orange”, the author avoids the problem of there being no proper rhyme for ‘orange’:

He gave us this eternal spring
Which here enamels everything ...
He hangs in shades the orange bright
Like golden lamps in a green night
(Andrew  Marvell: Bermudas)

In the humorous, ironical lines of the song below, the narrator heads off in search of the western paradise, but he doesn’t get very far; nor does he find the holy Grail Of Rhyme:

Pulled my cap down over my eyes
And headed out for western skies
So long, New York
Howdy, East Orange
(Bob Dylan: Talking New York)

More seriously, the followers of Almighty God fail to seize the opportunity to conquer themselves, to make up for their bodily and materialistic desires, to redeem themselves.

So saith the Holy Bible:

We see not our signs
There is no more any prophet
Neither is there among us
Any that knoweth how long
(Psalm 74 :9)

For which the poet below admonishes himself:

When for the thorns with which I long, too long
With many a piercing wound
My Saviour's head have crowned
I seek garlands to redress that wrong
(Andrew Marvell: Coronet)

The narrator in the song below takes the easy way out; instead of changing himself, the metaphorical stallion changes mares:

Well, I got a new pony, she knows how to fox-trot, lope, and pace
How much longer
She got great big hind legs
And long black shaggy hair above her face
(Bob Dylan: New Pony)

Borrowing from:

I'm gonna buy me a pony
Can pace, fox-trot, and run
(Fred McDowell: Highway 61 Blues)

Despite the assertions of the “It’s The Music Stupid School Of Dylanology”, Bob Dylan lyrics, whether you agree with them or not, do contain meaningful messages.

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