Bob Dylan And Bayard Taylor (Part IV)

by Larry Fyffe

Very unlikely that writers Bayard Taylor and William Blake are aware of the poems of Edward Taylor – so put the following lines up to sheer creative coincidence:

And, like a finer sunshine swims
Round every motion of thy limbs
The sweet, sad wonder and surprise
Of waking glimmers in thine eyes
(Bayard Taylor: Like A Finer Sunshine)

And these lines too:

Our life is scare the twinkle of a star
In God's eternal day. Obscure and dim
With mortal clouds, it may yet beam for Him
And darkened here, shine fair to spheres afar
(Bayard Taylor: What Know The Woods)

In reference to the verse below by the Puritan/Baroque poet:

You want clear spectacles: your eyes are dim
Turn inside out, and turn your eyes within
Your sins like motes in the sun do swim: nay, see
Your mites are molehills, molehills mountains be
(Edward Taylor: The Accusation Of The Inward Man)

The writer of the song lyrics beneath, however, might well be aware of either one or both Taylors; take from each and all  what messages you have gathered from coincidence:

With your silhouette when the sunlight dims
Into your eyes where the moonlight swims
And your match-book songs, and your gypsy hymns
Who among them would try to impress you
(Bob Dylan: Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands)

For sure, Quaker Bayard Taylor sentiments are influenced by those of the pre-Romantic poet William Blake:

My heart, a bird with broken wing
Deserted by its mate of spring
Droops shivering, while the winds blow
And fills the nest of love with snow
(Bayard Taylor: Bird With Broken Wing)

Similar enough they be to the sorrow expressed in the following lines:

How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing
How can a child, when fears annoy
But droop his tender wing
And forget his youthful spring
(William Blake: The Schoolboy)

In the song lyrics below, Blake’s sorrowful outlook is mixed together with that of the dark Gothic visions of Edgar Allan Poe:

The wind howls like a hammer
The night blows cold and rainy
My love, she's like some raven
At my window with a broken wing
(Bob Dylan: Love Minus Zero/ No Limit)

One comment

  1. Apparently drawing on Edward Taylor’s ‘Inward’ poem, the writer of the lines below surely points her cheeky finger at Dylan for ‘ borrowing’ from other artists:

    But now it’s cloak and dagger
    Walk on eggshells and analyze
    Every particle of difference
    Gets like mountains in your eyes
    (Joni Mitchell: Good Friends)

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