Nick's Poetry Corner – Robert Zimmerman and Isaiah
Robert Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan, made a name for himself as a creative and literary genius and troubadour with such albums as The Times, They Are a’Changin’, The Freewheeling Bob Dylan, and Blonde on Blonde. After a motorcycle accident, though, his tone changed forever, starting with a track from John Wesley Harding.
Isaiah, arguably the most brilliant writer in the Hebrew Bible, needs no introduction. Eugene Peterson does beautiful justice to the Prophet’s oracle against Babylon which haunted the Troubadour as he recovered from his own first glimpse at death.
The Prophet says:
The Master told me, “Go, post a lookout.
Have him report whatever he spots.
When he sees horses and wagons in battle formation,
Lines of donkeys and columns of camels,
Tell him to keep his ear to the ground,
Note every whisper, every rumor.”
Just then, the lookout shouted,
“I’m at my post, Master,
Sticking to my post day after day
And all through the night!
I watched them come,
The horses and wagons in battle formation.
I heard them call out the war news in headlines:
‘Babylon fallen! Fallen!
And all its precious god-idols
Smashed to pieces on the ground.'”
The Troubadour sings:
“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief,
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.”
“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke,
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”
All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.
Copyright © 1968; renewed 1996 Dwarf Music
Confrontation is coming;
the princes of Babylon cannot drown out the howls and growls of birth-pangs forever.
when we exiled jokers and thieves come home in spirit and truth, who will stand against us?