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Lot #2063
Bob Dylan Signed Handwritten Poem: "I Meet These Idiots"

The young Dylan casts aside "idiots" before his rise to fame: "Why can't they / leave me / be—why don't they keep their distance"

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Estimate: $20000+
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The young Dylan casts aside "idiots" before his rise to fame: "Why can't they / leave me / be—why don't they keep their distance"

Visionary handwritten poem in pencil by Bob Dylan, signed "Dylan," one page, 8.5 x 11, taken from his circa 1960 'Poems Without Titles' penned while at the University of Minnesota. The poem casts the pre-fame Dylan in an interesting light—even then, he wanted to be left alone by hangers-on. The poem begins:

"I meet these Idiots
who can't
be silent
and I
die each time—
Why can't they
leave me
be—why don't they keep their distance."

In fine condition.

At the height of his fame in 1966, Bob Dylan would famously go into seclusion at Woodstock, where 'dropouts and druggies,' 'moochers' and 'goons' would frequently make unwelcome visits—many seeking the 'truth' that they thought Dylan held. He discusses the period in his memoirs, Chronicles: Volume One. Dylan, for his part, considered himself a song-and-dance man—not a savior—and wanted no part of that scene. This poem seems to anticipate his future fame, calling out the rubberneckers who stare and ask: "Do I know him?" or "I know who he is."

This poem is further echoed in his epic and bitter 1975 song 'Idiot Wind,' not just in title but in content—especially in the second verse: 'People see me all the time / And they just can't remember how to act / Their minds are filled with big ideas / Images and distorted facts.' In both instances, the works begin with general 'idiots' before drawing to focus on a singular 'idiot'—someone with whom he no longer wishes to associate. A superb and insightful poem from the young Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan Poem Copyright © 2022 Babinda Music

Provenance: Christie’s, 11/21/05

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Marvels of Modern Music
  • Dates: #636 - Ended May 19, 2022

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