Bob Dylan And John Keats Part One can be found through this link. Part Three follows shortly.
Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan likes to fiddle while Keats mourns. Dylan turns themes presented by other artists upside down.
As in the song lyrics below:
More optimistic is the singer about future happiness in the world of reality than the poet be. Keats finds the actual world, outside the imagination, wanting:
(John Keats: Ode On A Grecian Urn)
The Dylanesque rhyme twist: ‘young’/’rung’ vs ‘young’/ ‘tongue’
Another poet, who’s also familiar to Dylan, focuses on the dark side of life:
(Rudyard Kipling: Gentleman-Rankers)
The Dylanesque rhyme twist again – Kipling and Dylan both end-rhyme ‘rung’ and ‘young’
Again, below, Dylan fiddles with themes, turns things around:
Contrasting with Keats’ melancholic view of the world outside his mind:
(John Keats: On Fame)
The Dylanesque twist – Keats and Dylan both end-rhyme ‘too’ and ‘you’.
Bob Dylan matches John Keats’ mood some of the time:
But overall Keats’ poetry is dark – for example, he depicts knights in shining armour who are doomed from here to eternity:
(John Keats: La Belle Dame Sans Merci)
Bob Dylan’s lyrics reveal that he’s more or less content living in the sensual world, especially if he has a real female Muse to go with it; he’ll bake his ideal cake for sure, but he’ll eat it in the real world:
Dylan end-rhymes ‘you’/’too’, coincidence or not, with Keats, ‘dew’/’too’.
The more Gnostic-influenced John Keats imagines he’s trapped with women in a Gothic place from which there is no physical release:
(John Keats: Lamia)
Not a compassionate sad-eyed lady of the lowlands is Lamia – she’s a beautiful woman without mercy.
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