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Old 13-09-06, 09:58 PM   #1
JackSpratts
 
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: New England
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Default Who’s This Guy Dylan Who’s Borrowing Lines From Henry Timrod?

Motoko Rich

Perhaps you’ve never heard of Henry Timrod, sometimes known as the poet laureate of the Confederacy.

But maybe you’ve heard his words, if you’re one of the 320,000 people so far who have bought Bob Dylan’s latest album, “Modern Times,” which made its debut last week at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

It seems that many of the lyrics on that album, Mr. Dylan’s first No. 1 album in 30 years (down to No. 3 this week), bear some strong echoes to the poems of Timrod, a Charleston native who wrote poems about the Civil War and died in 1867 at the age of 39.

“More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours,” the 65-year-old Mr. Dylan sings in “When the Deal Goes Down,” one of the songs on “Modern Times.” Compare that to these lines from Timrod’s “Rhapsody of a Southern Winter Night”:

A round of precious hours

Oh! here, where in that summer noon I basked

And strove, with logic frailer than the flowers.

“No doubt about it, there has been some borrowing going on,” said Walter Brian Cisco, who wrote a 2004 biography of Timrod, when shown Mr. Dylan’s lyrics.

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