Thursday, 29 January 2009

Note on a glimpse of Bob Dylan

The following poem was quickly scribbled en-passant onto page 13 of John McDonald's collection of haiku The Throu-Gaun Chiel, a book that Poet-in-Residence carries around, and uses not only as a source of inspiration, but as a workbook, as a place to make notes.
John's haiku are not destroyed by the scribbled blue and red scrawls adorning the pages, but in a way they are enhanced. It's difficult to explain why; but try it for yourself and you will soon see that it is like that. It's a kind of contemporary way of reading and of writing and of using all of one's resources.

a short note

on a marine band harmonica
and he slipped like an eel
through the crowd
and onto the train,
and hung a strap near me

somewhere between eire
and russia
going around
the old beltway line

well, he was younger
than I had remembered
his curly black hair
and his thin red lips
his guitar in the bag on his back
the wide leather belt
girdling the hips

and I was gonna say
hey, Mr Dylan how's it going, ok?
but just then he was suddenly gone
lost from my view
and without his new song



  1. I like the idea - think I have read of it before somewhere. I am afraid (sad old blogger that I am) that i am still a Bob Dylan fan and know most of his early stuff off by heart from singing to tapes/
    Like your idea of sailing along the Bosphorus and stopping off at Istanbul for a kebab (and a quick look at Haghia Soffia (one of my favourite buildings). We can dream.

  2. I totaly KNEW you were describing Dylan once you reached the word "guitar" but the less happy part of me said "Don't be riduculous, how lucky do you really expect to get with some strange guy's poem today."

    And it has made my day, if not my week. Well, definitely my fortnight, yes.

    Austria! "In Vienna there are ten pretty women...etc, ai, yi, yi..."

    (Last night I dreamed L. Cohen told me he sold the place on Hyrda and was now living in St John's Newfoundland.)

  3. But you have to understand I did not read this blog post's title first. Actually just saw it now, how weird is that?

    There, it all perhaps makes a bit of sense to you now. :)

  4. Thanks Jannie Funster.
    Have a great fortnight.
    Best bardic wishes
    from me and Bob
    or whoever he was...

  5. great Gwilym I've been a dylan fan since he started in fact he was the one that turned me on to poetry

  6. Thanks John. You can see that my throu-gaun chiel is being put to good use.
    And yes, Bob Dylan is nothing if not a bardic balladeer. In fact, as he himself admits, he took the name Dylan from Dylan Thomas. my favourite BD song is Mr Tambourine man.


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