Ode to Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez
Ode to Bob Dylan

Ode to Bob Dylan

Born as Robert Zimmerman

Bob Dylan better known,

His talent as a songwriter

Has around the world renown.


An American folk-singer,

Woody Guthrie inspired.

Protestor, artist, activist,

‘Beat’ Generation admired.


Inscrutable and unpredictable

Allusive poetic words.

Literary masterpieces,

Hit songs for The Byrds.


Songs like Chimes of Freedom,

All I Really Want to Do,

Mr Tambourine Man,

It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.


Music that has meaning,

Songs for the common man,

That fight against injustice,

And for freedom take a stand.


Allen Ginsberg’s howling,

And Kerouac’s on the road.

Woody Guthrie why, oh why,

On Desolation Row.


Contemporaries respect him,

The lesser come and go,

But Dylan’s music never dies,

I forgot more than you’ll ever know.

An Example of Bob Dylan as a Poet

Although famous as a singer/songwriter, Bob Dyan is undoubtedly a gifted poet. Here is the first verse of “Desolation Row” as an example:

“They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row.”


by John Hansen © 2015


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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBooks of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" and "On the Wings of Eagles" at Lulu.com. Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction. I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years is now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

10 thoughts on “Ode to Bob Dylan

  • April 2, 2018 at 2:18 AM

    I always loved Bob Dylan – he was a master poet and fold singer and has inspired many of the younger generations – nicely Penned John.

  • April 2, 2018 at 2:20 AM

    A great poet and songwriter that changed a generation. Well done John, a worthy Ode indeed. Cheers!

    • April 5, 2018 at 2:04 AM

      Thanks Tony. Yes, he had a big influence on the world of folk music and created songs that had a meaningful effect.

  • April 2, 2018 at 2:21 AM

    Thank you, Kurt. Yes, he has inspired many generations and although I never thought hi voice the greatest…he is a wonderful poet and songwriter.

    • April 5, 2018 at 2:11 AM

      Hi Rasma. Thank you. he did influence a lot of other singers, poets and songwriters.

  • April 2, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    Very nicely written, John. I always enjoyed Bob Dylan’s music and I enjoyed reading this poem. Well done.

  • April 4, 2018 at 9:38 PM

    I think someone already mentioned this but he is a fantastic poet, his voice in my honest opinion was not very good but with words like that having a subpar voice was ok. Excellent ode indeed my friend. Nice work

  • April 5, 2018 at 2:13 AM

    Yes, Paul, I said his voice wasn’t very good but his songwriting and poetry are excellent. Thanks for reading and commenting.


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