Poetry Prompt: Appropriation in Bob Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume One

bob dylan graffiti

This post is part of a series of weekly found poetry prompts. If you have an idea for a found poetry source, email Senior Poetry Editor Beth AyerPhoto by Ben Salter (flickr).

As Marty mentioned in this week’s Finders Keepers roundup, there was a recent article in The Daily Beast discussing appropriation in Bob Dylan’s 2004 memoir, Chronicles: Volume One. The discovery of Dylan’s “personal ‘Da Vinci Code,’ a hidden metatext full of fabrication, allusion, and widespread appropriation,” prompts a broader discussion of borrowing and sampling in art, and even the nature of truth in storytelling.

Naturally, we at the Found Poetry Review enjoy this discussion. So for this week’s poetry prompt, I simply ask you to write a poem sourced from Chronicles: Volume One: remix, erase or otherwise sample the text to create a poem. Please share the results in the comments, or submit to FPR Volume 8. (Side note: we are still taking submissions for Lá Bloom: Found Poetry from Ulysses through May 30th. )

On, here’s a remix of Bob Dylan’s “Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine.” Enjoy.


  • May 23, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    Word Portraits

    A big dark brown wooden desk
    full of my original compositions,

    the ringing rhythm
    of made-up things,

    cuttings of blues, jazz and folk.



    (From Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, Volume One, pages 4-5.)

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  • May 24, 2014

    Scott Warmuth

    What a wonderful idea.

    I wrote about how musician Ben Harper grabbed a couple of lines from Chronicles: Volume One and used them to start off a pair of verses in his song “Why Must You Always Dress In Black” on his 2009 album White Lies For Dark Times.

    The lines he took from Dylan turned out to be lines that Dylan snatched from an Ernest Hemingway short story and a Smokey Robinson interview. There’s poetry to be found everywhere.


  • May 24, 2014


    don’t need a weberman to know which way the wind blows.

    gooch was a staunch anti-integrationist.
    david duke looked like a movie star!
    dave van ronk was like the grand wizard;
    is anti-integrationist even a thing?

  • May 26, 2014

    Kathy Moore

    Van Ronk worked at the Gaslight
    brings me a bottle in a paper bag
    drinking songs all through the night
    asleep with that guitar in my hands
    stunned, stoned or straight

    Goodness hides behind its gates
    Bloodstream of the blues
    in this mythical realm
    of dizzy, portentous truth
    A frosted silent place

    Poet of night stones and the quick earth,
    something calling to me to come in,
    taste the dust.
    A fearsome apparition –
    the ghosts race towards the night

    Sing something,
    fully alive and revved up
    Rebellion upturned…
    Sing something,
    beautiful, magical, upbeat, complete
    voice and guitar, ringing the room
    Je est un autre, je est un autre

  • […] the Found Poetry Review we are asked to remix a master remixer, Dylan — or erase.  Don’t forget to stop by […]

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  • June 4, 2014


    Fire and Brimstone Servings

    On 58th and Broadway,

    wind blowing, snow whirling,

    I opened my guitar case.

    Ringing rhythm of hot jazz and blues.

    Playing songs with fire, brimstone servings.

    Christsake, my family, they were long gone.

    Came across country, straight out of Chicago.

    Hell, racing through smoky towns.

    Eastbound, mind fixed on hidden interest.

    Lines used from Bob Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume 1

    Pages 3 through 8