Tarantula is in the stream-of-consciousness style of Dylan's liner notes to Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home. The publisher did our beloved author a great disservice in labeling these writings "Poems." These short pieces - interspersed with pseudo-missives - are literally unbridled prose, brimming with wit, sarcasm and absurdities. Only Dylan can say for sure what they're all about. A poet is not necessarily one who writes rhyming verse, but formlessness is not poetry either. To call Tarantula "poetry" is to turn a blind eye to Dylan's assault on traditional prose narrative forms. That said, I think Tarantula is a great book to have on the shelf, but it's not easy or especially rewarding reading unless one is primarily interested in the author. Because it's Dylan's only book (aside from published lyrics), it's a rather important book. Likewise, Dylan admirers should see D.A. Pennebaker's classic mid-60s Dylan documentary, "Don't Look Back."
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