My Apologies: Bob Dylan IS a Poet, & Other Stories! (edited)

Due to my ignorance, I was surprised Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Literature Prize because I thought he had not written literature, but he has. My partner has a poetry book Dylan wrote in the 60s: Tarantula, experimental prose poetry, which is a merit (I have a prose poetry short story if you want to read it, and see how dangerous it is to write) And it’s hard for poets to get prizes.

I would have given him the Peace Nobel instead, really, because his songs were key for the peace movement (the so-called hippies), and to spread ideas, not violence, but well — I take back my words in class the other day. I have nothing to say about his getting the Literature Nobel Prize. Well —

I think of Joan Baez… She would have been a good candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, as good as Bob Dylan, in any case. And both probably better than other people who were awarded this prize! Were Baez’s lyrics poems? Dylan’s were. Actually, he said of some of those that he didn’t intend to write a protest song (Blowing in the Wind). A great many people in the 60s, who loved literature and the arts, acknowledged Dylan as a talented writer. It’s true that the 60s were full of patriarchal ideology, in spite of feminism being at full blast (as compared with other times, in the USA at least, an extremely patriarchal country, full of patriarchal ideology, this is, violent ideas of superiority-inferiority). Just watch the movie “Hair” if you have a developing feminist intelligence and see what I mean. Women were invisible most of the time, in spite of it all. It was the time when you were considered “estrecha” (not that kind of girl) if you decided to choose who you had sex with, and rejected a proposal. (Include women, and the history of humankind is slightly different.)

And then —

It’s telling that the 10 nominees were men. Not a single woman. But I don’t want to say now that it would have been great if women writers had been considered because I didn’t say that in previous cases where traditionally-minded men were awarded a prize.

I’m glad progressist-minded people are taken into account, because progressist ideas are what have helped us humanize our violent cultural upbringings. That’s my view. People always have questions about whether progressist people DESERVE the (few) awards they get, but I’m critical of this, obviously. (You can disagree with me, anyway — I’m into freedom of expression and find that dialogue is positive for everybody! 🙂 )

Now listen to these people. Bob Dylan IS actually considered a talented poet.

At the same time, I always regret women are nowhere to be seen. Still, there’s no stopping a feminist, there’s no stopping social change for the better, also because quite a lot of women are managing to keep alive and free — particularly, provided people start considering ideas instead of fueling the defamation/slander and misinterpretation of kind people, instead of demonizing  those who care about human beings.

And here is a very telling (significativo, que significa cosas) poem by Anne Sexton, who like Hemingway, committed suicide, but who, unlike Hemingway, instead of being considered a Hero (in the anti-hero version, like he was), was considered a bad mother for abandoning her children, something men writers who committed suicide never were — as if suicide were a frivolity when done by women.

Her Kind –

Incidentally, I’d like to invite you all to learn a poem by ear by heart! ❤ ❤ ❤ I recommend Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver. But this poem may also keep you company, at times. Here are videos with students who learned a poem in our C1 course, in previous years: songs & poems playlist.

Toot Thielmans has passed away! (On Music)

Today I learned Toot Thielemans (I always thought it was Tut Stilmans! 😀 )  died last August — 94 years old of whistling and playing his harmonica! He was BelgiAN, from BelgiUM, where you can find the best beer and chocolate in the world!!

This piece of news brings me that kind of emptiness the death of people whose work you have enjoyed brings. He was and IS a musician who played an instrument almost nobody plays, the harmonica. Actually, when I was a little girl and even when I was a teenager I remember people sang (particularly mothers while doing the housework) and there was always someone bringing a guitar or harmonica to gatherings. Perhaps people keep doing it today, but I haven’t seen that for years. I have the feeling industry has sucked music out of people’s everyday lives! But I’m old and might be just in a different stage of life! Anyway, in case you never heard this musician, here goes a tune he actually composed. You might have heard him in movies like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or well, he played versions of all kinds of jazz and blues songs and tunes.

I heard him for the first time on the radio, in the wee hours of the night, in an attic with no electricity, no water, no kitchen, no toilet! (there was a toilet in the corridor, comunal it was). I couldn’t sleep because it was always freezing cold! So I listened to the radio, jazz program(me)s mainly. In spite of poverty, I loved these moments. I had left my mum’s house and found a job teaching English, so I could earn a living. I was also trying to keep up with courses at college/university. In those days, people didn’t leave their parents house either, at least not my generation, so it felt like having a lot of freedom! And music and freedom sort of reinforce each other to give you great happiness. So here goes this memory to hono(u)r Toot Thielemans life and work! ❤

What You Won’t Do For Love

Two music videos. Today, as I was driving back home, this song was playing on the radio. It’s really old, I suppose. I used to love it! — dance it like a madwoman at the disco! 😀 So I looked for it on the net and found this version, which is cool! And it’s funny because you can notice her British accent. I’m also posting the original, I mean, the song sang by the composer who wrote it, so you can tell me, why did I notice the different accents? There’s a key word for that! 😀 Hope you enjoy them! ❤