A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Monday, 10 September 2012


Bob Dylan and his band live in Bologna, 2006. (Image from Wikimedia Commons.)

One minute before the day of the release of Bob Dylan's thirty-fifth studio album, Tempest, listening to the Internet-available taster track and first single, Duquesne Whistle, becomes a sacred act.

Believe in the holy contour of life. JACK KEROUAC Belief And Technique For Modern Prose

Hell is empty, and all the devils are here. SHAKESPEARE The Tempest

We are such stuff / As dreams are made on, and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep. SHAKESPEARE The Tempest

You taught me language, and my profit on't / Is, I know how to curse. SHAKESPEARE The Tempest

I long to hear the story of your life, which must / Take the ear strangely. SHAKESPEARE The Tempest

How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, / That has such people in it! SHAKESPEARE The Tempest

This thing of darkness I / Acknowledge mine. SHAKESPEARE The Tempest

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, / Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. / Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments / Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices... SHAKESPEARE The Tempest

Now I will believe / That there are unicorns... SHAKESPEARE The Tempest 

He not busy being born is busy dying. BOB DYLAN It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)


Rachel Fox said...

So is he sponsored by the Olympics? How does this work??

Ruth said...

You've created a lovely contour with your posted quotations, Robert. The tensions of life and death, light and darkness. Well done.

Suman said...

For some reason, of all the quotable lines in "The Tempest", I have always loved Caliban's the best. May be it's the ever-ready rebel in me!

Goat said...

I'll have to buy mine virtually, if that makes any sense. I read ('Guardian'?) a review that said it's good but to beware of hyperbole. Trouble being Bob is he's a hyperbole magnet. From the review it sounds solid.

A lot of people say they don't like his last string of albums but they make up a distinct phase in his career and are well appointed with great songs. They take you on a journey and I'm ready for another ramble with The Man...

am said...

Thank you for those quotes. There is a feeling of taking part in a ritual today. Something spiritual.

And then there's story of Jonah and the tempest and the whale, read on Yom Kippur which is coming up on September 26. Just noticed that Bob Dylan is taking time out from touring for the Days of Awe.


This time I decided to just wait until the day the CD was released and just go to the store and buy it off the shelf. I've heard all of "Tempest" already several times, but that is just the beginning for me with a Bob Dylan album. With each listening I hear more. On the last listening, I was hearing the influence of Warren Zevon.

Today I'm going to a take a drive up Mt. Baker Highway to the end of the road up in the mountains. It's about an hour's drive to the east. That will give me two complete listenings. I've always liked to listen to Bob Dylan while I am driving. In 2001, I listened to "Love and Theft" over and over again, beginning on September 11th.

Hope to have some good photos when I return this afternoon so that I can post something on my blog.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

I think Dylan is the most Shakespearian of song writers (the large cast of characters, the wit and humour, the striking imagery, the effective and intentional use of common, clichéd expressions as well as the coining of new ones, the preoccupation with 'the tensions of life and death, light and darkness'...

Now I've properly heard 'Tempest', I would agree it's very solid — all-in-all the best for a while, actually — and I also agree that a few of the reviews have been over the top. But, then again, you can sympathise why everyone gets so excited and resorts to hyperbole. In fact, I'm pretty excited myself, as I do like the album a lot.

am — that was such a fantastic comment, and I've been reading with great interest your own posts on 'Tempest' and its meanings and connections and effect on you. Brilliant stuff.