Can I have detail explanation of the poem "Blowing in the Wind" by Bob Dylan?

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Along the lines of the previous post, one of the most profound meanings from Dylan's song is the idea of embracing the unending questions that plague who we are and what we do.  In a setting where individuals are consistently searching for answers which seem elemental, but hardly are, Dylan's lyrics remind us of the fundamental challenges of being who we are in where we live.  For example, "How many years can some people exist/ Before they're allowed to be free?" is a great instance where we, as human beings, understand the need to be free, but also questions our tolerance for enslavement of others.  The implication in the song is that we, as individuals, are confronted with situations where our own sense of change is needed, and for this, we seek to find answers, solutions whose presence "is blowing in the wind."

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

It is a beautiful song/poem that mingles romanticism and genuine political discourse. It is a very philosophical piece of work, operating almost entirely on the level of the generic or the universal. It has a strong ethical core, which charges it with a bond of political responsibility.

It invites us into an ironic reconsideration of 'man'. What does it take to be a man in terms of human experience? That is the initial question. The essential question is always about time--the time of action, the time of giving it bak in turn , the time of the plunge and so on. The poem is like a clarion-call for making that time of revolution and change possible.

The images of the poem are not loudly political at all. The time of the white ducks (peace!) sleeping in the sand or the time of man looking at the sky, trying to see things clearly, for a change are all highly contemplative images.

The philosophical implication of the poem, apart from its political message, is the unfathomability of life's mystery. The answer blowing in the wind like a war-whistle is a very ambivalent image. It may imply the obviousness of the answer. Alternatively, it may also indicate the unanswerable quality of the question. All basic questions of life are like that. The answer is basic but unknowable or at least indeterminate. It changes with the ever-changing wind.

Bengali singer Kabir Suman has come up with a brilliant bangla version of it. It is available on the net. Do listen to it, if you can.

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