By Uzma Hafeez
Looking outside from the window, wearing the headphones and listening to Dylan; this was the way I used to start my day while heading to my university in Lahore. Oh! It’s nostalgic. It was just few years ago may be three or four. Even today I listen to his songs while enjoying the scenic view of Sydney from my balcony with a cup of tea or even while cooking, I always have my cell phone in the pocket of my kitchen apron. I used to lend an ear to his voice when I was an ambitious student; I still listen to him when I am a wife and a mother of a 5-month oldie. That’s a thing about Dylan; you never get bored of him. His songs are not bound to any age or circumstances. His songs are universal and so his message.
Awarding Nobel Prize in literature; Well! It’s something altogether a different story. Literature pundits have different opinions about Dylan’s winning Nobel Prize in Literature. Some are seeing it with suspicion and others are examining it with the massive impact that Dylan has on his listeners across the world through his poetry. I think what is making it a bit controversial is that he is the only song writer who has been awarded with this prestigious award. His poetry is in fact the lyrics of his songs. If we read his words just as a classic poetry and not as lyrics of song, we may get answers to many questions.
Now they asked me to read a poem
At the sorority sisters’ home
I got knocked down and my head was swimmin’
I wound up with the Dean of Women
Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it
Hope I don’t blow it.
I would not comment on the authenticity of his winning the Nobel Prize as being his diehard fan, I can be biased in my opinion. All I am asking to you is just spare few minutes from your busy routine and try to understand the poetry of his songs.
How many years can a mountain exist before it washed to the sea.
What a deep meaning conveyed in such a simple way. My personal favorite songs of his are “It takes a lot to laugh; it takes a train to cry” and “Forever Young”
These are Bob Dylan’s lyrical genius. May be the questions have been asked because he has not published anything, you don’t need to spend money and buy a book to wander in an amazing world of Dylan. All you have to do is just to download his songs from the internet and there you go.
The debate that whether Bob Dylan deserves this prize must not astray us from the fact that he is one of the most foremost figures of 21st century literature. A prolific poet, an avid socialite and a great human being; Bob Dylan is a one of the most influential musicians of all times. And for sure, he hasn’t blown it at all.
Uzma Hafeez is a Sydney-based freelancer who writes on various subjects ranging from political and social to business issues.