In a new review in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Philip Martin discusses Bob Dylan’s Poetics by Timothy Hampton.Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:
“You needn’t be a scholar to appreciate Hampton’s clear-eyed analysis of how Bob Dylan does what he does and why it’s different from what a lot of people think that he does. Hampton considers a large swath of Dylan’s catalog, providing thrilling (yes, thrilling) readings on a number of songs, from ‘Talkin’ New York’ (the first Dylan song officially released on vinyl) to his 2016 Frank Sinatra covers.
Hampton gets extra points for arguing a point I have often made – Dylan is not a poet (although he has read poets and understands how poetry works) or merely a great lyricist (I would make the argument his lyrics are rarely the most important component of his songs) but an artist whose medium is the performed song, the actual moving of air through space – the musicality of a figure often (wrongly) berated as un-musical.”