A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

Bob Dylan: 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature Winner

October 29, 2016

The Swedish Academy, prize awarder for the Nobel Prize in literature, surprised us all by announcing that Bob Dylan is the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. He is the very first American nobel prize winner in the last two decades, since the novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993.

Bob Dylan was once the voice of a generation, two generations ago, from the time Dylan released his 1964 album, “The Times They Are a-Changin.” As an artist, Dylan has spent these past few decades reinventing himself over and over again, and he keeps coming up with music that is neither magical nor bewitching as it used to be. In fact, it seems as though, in an attempt to stubbornly avoid saying things the way he once did and in an attempt to find a new and fresh way of expressing himself in his art, his music has turned somewhat dull. Maybe it’s true that all artists have a certain high summit which they climb to in their creative longevity. Perhaps, once they’ve reached that height, they will not have any more room to ascend, and as a result, they just get creatively stuck.

I recently attended one of Bob Dylan’s concerts. He appeared on the stage wearing a really huge hat, which made it impossible to have a glimpse of his face and made his already small physique appear even smaller. I was hoping to hear at least one or two of his classic songs, but, no way. He just stuck to his new songs, which were all non-magical to me.

Looking at Dylan’s work as a poet, however, I am always touched in the depths of my soul with the amazing power of his words. His poetry convinces me that I would never, ever again come across the work of a poet who can deliver his emotional message as powerfully and heart-touching as Dylan once did. Of course, in giving him the Nobel Prize in literature, the fact that he is not a novelist or even a main stream artist brought out the controversy regarding whether Dylan’s lyrics in his songs can be regarded as literature. But to this I say, “Never mind. It is quite irrelevant as, even for the Nobel Academy, as Dylan once wrote,  “the times they are a-changin’.”

The Times They Are A-Changinbob-dylan-the-times-they-are-a-changin

by Bob Dylan
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’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

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Posted in Miscellaneous & Opinion, Reviews |

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