Prescient poetry penned six years before his Triumph accident: "The motorcycle just don't / give a damn / about anything"
Trio of handwritten poems in pencil by Bob Dylan, all signed "Dylan," one page, 8.5 x 11, taken from his circa 1960 'Poems Without Titles' penned while at the University of Minnesota. The first describes somebody blowing their nose during a coffeehouse music session:
"Today I sat in
…I saw snot
and gook flowing
down on the floor
of soul sending
The second, short poem curiously comments on a place filled without people. The last, and most significant, poem begins:
"The motorcycle leans
he motorcycle swerves
the motorcycle drags
the motorcycle doesn't
give a damn
who gets his nuts
In closing lines that foreshadow what was to come, the poem ends:
"The motorcycle just don't
give a damn
In fine condition.
On July 29, 1966, Dylan purportedly crashed his 500 cc Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle near his home in Woodstock, New York—an accident that has become a critical moment in Dylan lore, and led to his years-long seclusion. Dylan reportedly suffered lacerations to the face and scalp, a concussion, and broke several vertebrae. No ambulance was ever called, but, by many accounts, Dylan ended up at the home of his friend Dr. Edward Thaler to recuperate, while in others, he was driven to Middletown Hospital, where, according to Dylan himself, he spent a week. Two other popular theories exist: either the accident was minor, a mere driveway tip-over, or the crash never actually happened—that Dylan fabricated the story in order to exit his mad rush lifestyle. Crash or no crash, Dylan withdrew from the public and, apart from a few appearances, he did not tour again for almost eight years.
Bob Dylan Poem Copyright © 2022 Babinda Music
Provenance: Christie’s, 11/21/05