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July 26, 2008

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What an interesting take on the song, David. The whole notion of a diminished God is precisely correct and, at least to my ears, is important for two reasons. The first is that Dylan embraced his own brand of spirituality not long after this album and embraced a more conventional religious position later in life. That is, the confrontation with God in the song can be seen as a personal rejection before that embrace, almost as if it were a love story.

But your approach is more useful. If I extend the metaphor of your post, I think it's possible to read the very diminished god you describe as LBJ sending kids to the highways of Viet Nam to die. And, unshockingly, the kids and the blacks being sent to Viet Nam very much aware of the rules of the road and the games they had to dodge.

Larry

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Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark
                   

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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This Way Out

THE RULE OF THUMB
by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.

 

 


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