- Jay Parini: Bob Dylan has written songs that speak to our deepest concerns
- Other singers have summed up a generation, but Dylan wrote words to his songs, he says
Jay Parini, a poet and novelist, teaches at Middlebury College. His most recent book is "New and Collected Poems, 1975-2015." The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
(CNN)From the early '60s to today, decade after decade, Bob Dylan, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, has filled our heads with language that both interprets and transforms the realities we confront. I've gone to sleep many nights with stanzas of Dylan floating in my head, the words attached to the haunting notes. "Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now," I often say to myself, taking the line from "My Back Pages."