Bob Dylan and Thomas Hardy, part XVIII

These series now has its own permanent index.  You can reach it here or from the contents list at the top of the home page.    The last episode was   Bob Dylan And Thomas Hardy (Part XVII)


by Larry Fyffe

In the alliterative  poem – partially quoted beneath -, Thomas Hardy laments the passing of a loved one, and with it any hope he had of a caring Universe – Charles Darwin, he ain’t helping:

I thought her behind my back
Yea, her I long had learned to lack
And I said: "I am sure you are standing behind me ..."
I would not turn my head to discover
That there was nothing in my belief
(Thomas Hardy: The Shadow And The Stone)

A sentiment of sorrowful regret expressed in the following alliterative song lyrics:

As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine
I was passing by yon cool crystal fountain
Someone hit me from behind
Ain't talking, just walking
Though this weary world of woe
(Bob Dylan: Ain't Talking)

As the lyrics below indicate, as least to the author thereof, the optimistic outlook of life-everlasting, a characteristic theme of  the Romantic Transcendentalist poets, fades away in these modern times, the focus of which is on science and technology:

That I could think trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed hope, whereof of he knew
But I was unaware
(Thomas Hardy: The Darkling Thrush)

The image of shadows of stones echoes in the following sardonic song lyrics, alliteration abounding:

There's nothing to see
Just a cool breeze that's encircling me
Let's go for a walk in the garden
So far and so wide
We can sit in the shade by the fountain-side
(Bob Dylan: False Prophet)

The alliterative lines beneath reveal that Fredrich Nietzsche’s lament that “God is dead” just won’t go away:

But since I was framed in your first despair
The doing without me has no play
In the minds of men where shadows scare
And now that I dwindle day by day
(Thomas Hardy: A Plaint Of Man)

Akin to the view that the singer/songwriter quite consistently holds to ; rhymed be ~ ‘play’/’day’ above; ~ ‘day’/’away’ below:

We are living in the shadows of a fading past
Trapped in the fires of time ...
One more day is another day away
From the girl from the Red River shore
(Bob Dylan: Red River Shore)


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