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The Present:
musical prose

Click here for miscellaneous poems

”Bob Dylan & Babylon: together through life”, a talk by John Gibbens, can be digested in several chewy chunks via the Housmans Bookshop channel on YouTube

Through the Iron Gates

Going with Bob Dylan’s ‘Brownsville Girl’ till the wheels fall off and burn… (Part 1)


The Postscript from The Nightingale’s Code: a poetic study of Bob Dylan

The Nightingale’s Code, which had been years in the making, was finally being readied for the press in the summer of 2001, when the rumours started to circulate about a new Bob Dylan album. So I put back the publication date and kept a few pages blank at the back of the layout.

Once it was announced, I allowed myself a week between the release date of this new album (called “Love and Theft”) and the delivery date of the book to the printers, in which I would write a quick response to it. Then I sat back and waited for the big day – 11th September 2001. Here’s the Postscript, to download as a pdf.


Steady Rollin’ Man
A revolutionary critique of Robert Johnson

A brief essay about the famous bluesman’s records, based on some ideas originally mooted in a footnote to The Nightingale’s Code.

61 Minutes : A Second

Some notes on Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, Volume 1, first published in the Judas! fanzine.
Download as a pdf

There’s Hot Stuff Here and It’s Everywhere I Go

A Young Person’s Introduction to Modern Times, Bob Dylan’s fine album of 2006.

We Walk the Line
A Rambler’s Guide to the Dylans, Bob and Thomas

A shorter form of this piece was given as a lecture at the Dylan Thomas Celebration in Swansea.
Download as a pdf

Bow Down to Her on Sunday

Some thoughts on ‘To Ramona’ and Bob Dylan’s version of symbolism, with particular reference to the Tarot.


More about John Gibbens


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