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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Bob Dylan's Birthday: Are Rock Lyrics Poetry? (243 comments)

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  •  The Answer Is Yes. (4+ / 0-)

    ...but if the absence of music leaves the words without much force, then it's bad poetry. With reasoning similar to Brecht's, Tolkien wrote that drama is not literature because it's meant to be acted, not read silently.  That idea leaves the ancient epics the Iliad and Odyssey possibly on the outside of the world of literature looking in.  I think it's a pretty foolish position.

    When Sammy Hagar described his lyrics as great poetry, I could only think that he'd never read any great poetry, much less written it.

    Good poetry--really good poetry--creates feeling in the reader all by itself, regardless of accompaniment.  A. E. Housman once said something to the effect of, if he recites something to himself while he's shaving and it gives him goose bumps, then he knows it's poetry.  I agree.

    •  I know. Trying to legislate literature is like (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Monsieur Georges, dharmafarmer

      setting rules for correct English. In the end, English is just what people speak and write to each other, and the rules are something we lay on top after the fact.

      I adopt positions as a way of prying things apart, to inspect them more closely. In the long run, great art is what survives, and all else gets swept away by the tides.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sat May 25, 2013 at 08:29:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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