And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinking
But I’ll know my song well before I start singing
In No Direction Home, beat poet Allen Ginsberg reports that this song was his introduction to Dylan’s music, and that upon hearing it he wept, especially at the clarity and lyricism of these lines. “Hard Rain” marks the beginning of Dylan’s shift, completed in “My Back Pages”, “Chimes of Freedom”, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, and “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding”, from simple, earthy, Woody Guthrie-influenced lyrics to a very Ginsberg-esque imagistic surrealism.
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