I was in another lifetime one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness a creature void of form
"Come in" she said, "I'll give you shelter from the storm"

from Bob Dylan – Shelter From The Storm Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

The beginning of this relationship is related to the creation story in the Bible. The “toil” is reminiscent of Adam’s punishment at the Garden of Eden, while being “void of form” is similar to the world on the first day.

A Jackson Pollock painting to illustrate “void of form”

The singer is struggling in a violent world and the relationship shelters and centers him, which is obviously a positive thing. However, as the song and relationship progresses the failed promise of “shelter” can take a mournful tone.

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