In 2016, popular singer/songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, which prompted some disagreement over the relationship between poetry and music. Respected novelist Salman Rushdie tweeted of the decision, “Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition. Great choice.” However, others questioned the choice because of Dylan’s commercial popularity or primary identification as a musician.
Matthew Schnipper of Pitchfork, for instance, explains why he disagrees with the choice: “[Dylan’s] relationship with words is as a lyricist, someone whose prose exists inexorably with music. To read his lyrics flatly, without the sound delivering them, is to experience his art reduced.” Popular novelist Jodi Picoult tweeted in response, “I’m happy for Bob Dylan, #ButDoesThisMeanICanWinAGrammy?”
Write a couple of paragraphs that you might share in your friends explaining where you stand in the conversation about whether a commercially popular musician like Bob Dylan ought to be considered for the Nobel Prize in literature. Be sure to use some of the theories about what poetry is and does as a genre to support your position.
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