Thursday, June 25, 2020

#177 / Outlined Epitaphs

In 1963, I was back from France, and was finishing up my second year of college. Meanwhile, Bob Dylan was already writing out some epitaphs. 1963 was the year, in fact, that Bob Dylan put out 11 Outlined Epitaphs. Thinking about it now, I can see that I was just a little bit behind the curve. Maybe I was way behind the curve, or maybe Bob Dylan was just quite a bit out in front, as I think it's fair to say he often is. 

At any rate, though I am late to the party, I have been thinking about epitaphs, recently, as a worthy subject of reflection. Just to be clear, an "epitaph" is defined like this (at least according to Wikipedia): 

A short text honoring a deceased person. Strictly speaking, it refers to text that is inscribed on a tombstone or plaque, but it may also be used in a figurative sense. Some epitaphs are specified by the person themselves before their death, while others are chosen by those responsible for the burial. An epitaph may be written in prose or in poem verse; poets have been known to compose their own epitaphs prior to their death, as did William Shakespeare.

Each one of Dylan's 11 outlined epitaphs runs to a page or more, so "short text" needs to be considered in context. Personally, I am not even to the "outline" stage yet, with any epitaph that might work for me, or that I would want to have carved on a rock. But, as I say, I am beginning to think that now is an appropriate time to start considering the subject. I am looking back at all these blog postings, as a matter of fact, to see if I can come up with any good ideas!

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1 comment:

  1. I like Rainier Marie Rilke's epitaph: (trans. from German)

    Rose, o pure contradiction,
    To be no one's sleep
    under so many


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