Music and Modern Literature Literature And Popular Music - Essay

Literature And Popular Music

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Naomi Lindstrom

SOURCE: "Dylan: Song Returns to Poetry," in Texas Quarterly, Vol. XIX, No. 4, Winter, 1976, pp. 131-36.

[In the following essay, Lindstrom calls for a reevaluation of conventional thinking about the differences between the language of poetry and the language of popular songs, crediting Bob Dylan with initiating a trend in popular music toward the composition of more complex lyrics.]

There is certainly much to remind us that poetry was once something for people to sing to one another. We use words that hark back to the old kinship between poetry and song: canto, cantico, lyric, sonnet (little song). Yet we must point out...

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