Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Dylan the Welder

I wrote and posted the following poem back in 2013 when I heard about Bob Dylan's projects of turning scrap pieces of metal into iron gates. It struck me as the perfect metaphor. I am reposting it here in honor of his upcoming 80th birthday.

Here's to the subterranean fires and the luminous eye of Bob Dylan!  ~ CK


Dylan the Welder*

Bob Dylan is a welder
Taking words
That have been scattered
And misused
And putting them through the fires
Of humanity’s forge.

It takes a hot pen
To bind mythic thoughts to modern ways;
And a fiery riff
To weld common chords to forsaken phrases,
Fashioning a memorable song of love or theft or ruin.

It takes a spark that was lit by subterranean fires
To ignite the passions
Of a restless generation
Until they gather on the streets
Or courthouse lawns
Or the National Mall
To sing of how many roads.

It takes the fire of human consciousness
Erupting without summons or awareness
To fashion songs that can
Shake a tambourine
Survey a watchtower
Foretell a hard rain
Or catch a slow train.

It takes old embers
To join hands with
Blind Willie
Hattie Carroll
And the sad-eyed lady.

It takes new fire
To speak to the hopes of a young woman
In a world that is spinning
Or the dreams of an old man
When shadows are falling.

Bob Dylan is a welder
Fashioning new gates
From worn-out words,
Burning old hopes
Onto new frames.

It takes ancient fire
To fashion timeless tales
Of joy and struggle,
And a luminous eye
To forge a song that is true.

                              ~ Charles Kinnaird

*The inspiration for this poem came from an online article telling about how Bob Dylan keeps welding supplies at his home in Malibu where he creates iron gates from scrap pieces of metal. Some of his welding work has been on display at London’s Halcyon Gallery.

(photos by John Shearer via Daily Mail)


Monday, May 10, 2021

Monday Music: With God on Our Side (Dylan and Baez)

This month, as we look toward Bob Dylan's 80th birthday, I am looking at some of his duets. This one is from the 1963 Newport Folk Festival with Joan Baez joining Bob singing "With God on Our Side."


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