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Friday, March 14, 2008

Poetry Friday/ Writer's Diary #45


Over at Jama's edition of Poetry Friday, she's asked that we share our favourite Bob Dylan lyrics. Despite having 50 or so of his tracks in my iTunes, I don't feel like I yet know his music well. On that note, I'll go with a predictible choice and pick the opening verse of "The Times They Are A-Changin'":

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

I'd also like to leave you with a northern lights poem I'm working on called "The Arctic Explorer Calls It A Night":


by John Mutford

9 comments:

Remi said...

Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet? / We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it / And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin' you to defy it / Lights flicker from the opposite loft / In this room the heat pipes just cough / The country music station plays soft / But there's nothing, really nothing to turn off / Just Louise and her lover so entwined / And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind

"Visions of Johanna"

jama said...

Great poem, John. Love how you've arranged your words in the night sky!! I've also only begun to understand Dylan's music, despite owning many albums.

TadMack said...

Wow, that's the Northern Lights! Great start!!

John Mutford said...

Remi: While I don't know that particular song, I love the lyrics you quoted. About a dozen years ago, I saw Bob in concert. He put on two shows in St. John's and I went on the second night. I enjoyed him immensely, but apparently he played more of a "greatest hits" set the previous night. I would have been able to sing along more with that one.

Jama: Thanks! Until I had that arrangement, I was ready to scrap the whole thing. As for Dylan, I think once I started hearing all the accusations of plagiarism, I've been skeptical about his lyrics-- though if he does steal, I'll give him credit for stealing some pretty good stuff.

TadMack: Thanks. I'll probably walk away from it for a while, before deciding what, if anything, to change. Or if I'll add something.

Cloudscome said...

John I really like that night sky poem. It's haunting and tempting and dangerous...

The Dylan song reminds me of what I like best about him... those lyrics could have been written today they are so current.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love the visuals of The Arctic Explorer Calls it a Night. A brilliant melding of art and literature says I.

Willa said...

Your Arctic Explorer poem was both lyrical and aesthically beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.
The Dylan lyrics that keep coming back to me as I watch my kids grow up and I am forever reminded that who they will grow up to be will converge somewhere between what I hope and want for them, and what they hope and want want for themselves. So I thank Dylan for this lovely blessing:

May God Bless and keep you always, may your wishes all come true
May You always do for others, and let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth, and see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young
May your hands always be busy, may your feet always be swift
May you have a strong fondation, when the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful, may your song always be sung,
And may you stay forever young.

laurasalas said...

Love your poem. Especially the word sinuously. I have a Northern Lights acrostic in a current collection...wish I'd used that word! But I didn't.

John Mutford said...

Cloudscome: Yes, I agree. Lyrics that can be relevant so many years after the fact, without seeming generic, are pretty impressive.

Barbara: I wrestled with that. On the one hand, I liked it much better when I thought about inverting the colours. On the other, any publisher I might submit this to, probably wouldn't consider it. Maybe too gimmicky?

Willa: My first exposure to that song is Rod Stewart's version.

Laura: I'd love to read that!

***And a newer version of "The Arctic Explorer Calls It A Night" can be found here.