Letter: Letter: Poetry from wind, Woody and yesterday's news

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The Independent Online
JASPER REES'S excellent piece on Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind' (Review, 15 August) missed arguably the most important element of its inspiration - the contribution of the late Woody Guthrie.

In Guthrie's book, Bound for Glory, he tells of taking the lift to an upper floor of the Rockefeller Centre to perform on radio. Never really at home in the city, Woody becomes disillusioned in the waiting room] He gazes through the window to the streets below, and watches the discarded newspapers blow high up from the street when the wind gets up, and descend slowly to rest on the sidewalk until another icy blast bears them skyward once more.

Guthrie muses to himself on how all life is there, births, deaths and marriages, all just blowing, just being there. Nothing more needs to be said. Enter Mr Zimmerman the great interpreter and conserver of the folk art of hobos. His tribute to Woody is in 'Blowin' in the Wind', much more so than in 'Song to Woody' from his first album. He realised that re-interpretation is truly the sincerest form of flattery.

Gerald Murphy

Birkenhead, Merseyside

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