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Bob Dylan: Poet or Musician?

Who is Bob Dylan?When talking of some artists, it is often hard to define to which art group they belong. Was Freddy Mercury more of a singer or of a songwriter? Would you consider Adriano Celentano an actor or a musician? Were they poems or dramas Shakespeare gave preference to? Most artistic people are talented in many fields. Almost every other artist hides a splendid mix of creative skills within himself. Same story here with Bob Dylan. Some fans think that he changed music history, others believe that his poems have made a great contribution to the world literature, and there are also those, who consider him a great musician and poet at the same time.


A Word on Art

The songs of Bob Dylan make an overwhelming impression on those, who hear them for the first time. An odd mix of folk ballads, rock‘n’roll and blues, with all the symbolism in lyrics – it is truly an outstanding phenomenon in both fields – literature and music – at the same time. There are various periods of his art, and everybody can find something for himself, when looking through his songs. There are protest songs, and Christian gospels, and modern music, and it only depends on your taste, which ones you will like better.


A Word on Himself

In order to decide, what Bob Dylan is, it would be quite smart to find out what he thinks of himself. When asked at a press conference in 1965 about what he considers himself – a poet or a musician – Dylan replied with a smile: “Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, y’know.” He considered himself more as an entertainer, not getting into details of how exactly he makes people think, feel and smile.


A Word from Others

Among Bob Dylan’s colleagues there are no such people, who would argue, whether he is more of a musician or of a poet. It does not really matter to them. As it was written earlier, it is quite common for a single artistic person to be a composer, an actor, a musician and a writer at the same time. What really does matter is the talent. “I’ll never be Bob Dylan. He’s the master” – said Neil Young. And when Neil Young says such things, there could be no better praise.


Perhaps, we should follow the example of artistic people and stop trying analyzing, what in the mix of texts and music makes Bob Dylan’s songs so sharp and touching. It’s much wiser to simply listen and enjoy.

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