My career as a freelance writer dates to the same month Bobby Zimmerman landed in NYC, to begin his career as Bob Dylan – January 1961, when I was twelve. My first beat was Hockey Night in Canada, and my readership consisted of my father, for whom I would leave typewritten summaries of TV games on the kitchen counter for him to read when he returned from his usual Saturday night date with my mother. The typewriter was a 23 pound Remington, big as an ancient computer monitor, and it was great fun to bang away on.
More than half a century later, I remain a hockey fan, and have spilled enough ink in response to Dylan’s career to flood the rink at Maple Leaf Gardens. Here’s the latest, an epigram and an essay, which betray my current obsession with my Berkshires’ neighbor Herman Melville and the nonpareil Moby-Dick.
By the time chimes of freedom
startle your sleeping ears
and you hear Bob Dylan sing,
play, and cast his dancing spell
Your way, shiploads of wage-slaves
have pitched in, pitchmen have cut in,
Al Kooper* has snuck in, even the taxman
has joined our sonorous feast.
Herman Melville worked alone.