We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Dylan isn’t really a poet. He’s a troubadour. Do even his most ardent admirers—among whom I count myself—spend much time reading his work? I think not. For the most part, his words cough and stumble across the page, though they scald and soar in song. Combining his lyrics with music produces an alchemic reaction in which the two elements strengthen and transform each other. Dylan has rightly won every prize in the book as a songwriter, but his songs are not literature...
Yes, they can scald and soar when he sings them. I mainly refer to his lyrics to avoid getting a mondegreen in my head. I had one with Jokerman when I thought it was "with a small dark look in his face." That was pretty good, but Dylan's was better: "...with a small dog licking his face."
Dylan is a good and sometimes great songwriter, but his lyrics don't rise to the level of poetry. He just doesn't compare to the likes of Tomas Tranströmer, Günter Grass, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Octavio Paz, etc. even with his best work. His lyrics fall flat read aloud from the page without the music to support them.
Given the level of poetry I've inadvertently listened to over the past quite-a-few years, Bob Dylan isn't bad. Most of what passes for poetry these days - and has passed for far too many years - is merely descriptive prose without the sentence structure. To me, poetry should sing, should have rhythm, should dance. Modern poetry, by my standards, is dreck. Bob Dylan - better sung (and preferably be a better singer) - but his lyrics are poetic.