Bob Dylan And Bayard Taylor (Part III)

Bob Dylan and Bayard Taylor Part 1

Bob Dylan and Bayard Taylor Part II

by Larry Fyffe

Our rowboat journey across the wide and wavy Jungian Sea continues.

Sentimental Bayard can be grouped in with the anti-Puritan Romantic Transcendentalist poets providing you consider his Quaker’s ‘inner light’ of love and pity be a part thereof – Joan Baez, an anti-war, anti-creed, this-worldly Quaker herself.

Admittedly, attempts at such classifications are fuzzy at best.

In the poem below, a delightful life apparently awaits the lonely faithful, but die first they must:

No more an outcast on her sod
Or at her board a stinted guest
But now in purple raiment dressed
And heir to all delight, that
She receives of God
(Bayard Taylor: Love And Solitude)

In the song lyrics beneath, that one last hope gets tossed overboard without a life jacket into the deep blue sea:

When the Reaper's task had ended
Sixteen hundred had gone to rest
The good, the bad, the rich, the poor
The lovliest, and the best
(Bob Dylan: Tempest)

 

Romantic/Existentialist thoughts from the poetry of Percy Shelley pop up in Taylor’s poems as they do in those of Thomas Hardy:

Thou seest, beyond, the cool kiosk
And far away the pencilled towers
That shoot from many a stately mosque
Thou hast no world beyond the chamber
(Bayard Taylor: The Odalisque)

As in the lines quoted beneath:

Column, tower, and dome, and spire
Shine like obelisks of fire
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean
To the sapphire-tinted skies
(Percy Shelley: Euganean Hills)

More directly paid tribute to in the following song lyrics:

There's a woman on my lap
And she's drinking champagne
Got white skin, got assassin's eyes
I'm looking up into the sapphire-tinted skies
(Bob Dylan: Things Have Changed)

Up jumps poet William Wordsworth as well in the Quaker’s works:

If she but smile the crystal calm will break
In music, sweeter than it ever gave
And when a breeze breathes over some sleeping lake
And laughs in every wave
(Bayard Taylor: The Return Of The Goddess)

As observed in the sentimental lines presented below:

When all at once I saw a crowd
A host, of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
(William Wordsworth: I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud)

The song lyrics beneath darken the delight that pervades Nature in the poem above:

I walk by tranquil lakes and streams
As each new season's dawn awaits
I lay awake at night with troubled dreams
The enemy is at the gate
(Bob Dylan: Tell Old Bill)

Like poet Emily Dickinson, the singer/songwriter is more likely to encounter a slithering snake rather than a sweet smile, a laughing wave, or a dancing flower:

When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled, and was gone
(Emily Dickinson: A Narrow Fellow In The Grass)

 

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