Bob Dylan Gets a Pulitzer

In music, poetic on April 9, 2008 by Editor Z

Bob Dylan, poet of a generation to be honored with a Pulitzer Prize.

Bob Dylan, the 1960s poet and Rock/Folk singer and guitarist who roused a generation of Americans to action and deep thought and has inspired generations more, is to be awarded with a special Pulitzer Prize. The announcement came Tuesday. The Pulitzer Prize is usually awarded to journalists and writers. In the past it has also been awarded to classical and jazz musicians on a fairly regular basis. But Dylan will be the first rock musician to receive the annual award.

This award is well deserved. Nobody can write such profound lyrics as him. Truth, words, art, and innovation. Dylan has given us much.


On Tuesday, along with the usual awards for tip top journalism and brilliance in “drama, letters, and music” the Pulitzer board announced a special citation to Bob Dylan for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”. The nod is a real Pulitzer, not like an honorary degree from Harvard.

Dylan received his Pulitzer for musical excellence, but he definitely set a history changing expose to music with “Hurricane”. Dylan wrote the song about falsely- convicted boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and eventually helped overturn his wrongful conviction and inspired a movie with Denzel Washington, as the leading man.

Dylan’s provocative lyrics contain the sort of truth-fueled calls to arms that journalists aspire to: “Come Mothers, come fathers throughout the land/ And don’t criticize what you can’t understand/ Your sons and daughters are beyond your command/ Your old road is rapidly aging/ So get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand/ For the times, they are- a-changin.”

Like I said previously, today’s rappers who sing about life on the street and feel that it is required that the words “bitches”, “hoes”, racial epithets, and a mention of a pistol every line or so could learn a thing or two from Dylan.

He has always managed to portray the grittiness or beauty of a concept, scene, or story without conforming to the old tried and tested formula, or using the same words. Molding language in a way that captivates listeners every time. He is a storyteller and in this age of discord, unease, and drama.



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