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The Poetics of American Song Lyrics$
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Charlotte Pence

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617031564

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617031564.001.0001

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Lyric Impression, Muscle Memory, Emily, and the Jack of Hearts

Lyric Impression, Muscle Memory, Emily, and the Jack of Hearts

(p.180) Lyric Impression, Muscle Memory, Emily, and the Jack of Hearts
The Poetics of American Song Lyrics

Claudia Emerson

University Press of Mississippi

A songwriter often labeled as a poet, Bob Dylan has established a reputation for writing songs with political, social, spiritual, and musical relevance. His music is known for its groundbreaking innovation, and for its many allusions to musicians and poets who came before him. This chapter examines one of Dylan’s songs, “Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts,” in light of the debate on whether a song is also a poem, or whether a songwriter is also a poet. It argues that Dylan’s songs will continue to be analyzed for their “poetry” and considers the ways he can situate his songs at the point where song forever departed from poetry.

Keywords:   songs, Bob Dylan, musicians, poets, poetry

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