‘I is somebody else’

Bob Dylan/Arthur Rimbaud


  • Kat Peddie University of Kent




John Ashbery, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, indeterminacy, Marjorie Perloff, Arthur Rimbaud


This article examines Dylan’s relations with Arthur Rimbaud and with avant-garde poets contemporary to Dylan through the influence of Rimbaud. It will relate Dylan’s ‘indeterminacy’ to an indeterminacy that Marjorie Perloff locates in a twentieth century avant-garde poetics whose key influence is Rimbaud. The article also argues for an engagement with the myth of Rimbaud as an invigorating and vital component of Rimbaud’s influence on both Dylan and Ginsberg, far from the superficial engagement Perloff and most Rimbaud critics see it to be.

Author Biography

Kat Peddie, University of Kent

Kat Peddie is working on a PhD on twentieth-century American poetry at the University of Kent, part of which investigates Rimbaud’s reception in the mid twentieth-century. She has had her poetry published in Shearsman, Tears in the Fence and Litmus magazines. A chapter is forthcoming on Kelvin Corcoran in The Writing Occurs as Song: A Kelvin Corcoran Reader (Shearsman 2014), and she has written for Shearsman Magazine online review section. She is the co-editor of the international poetry magazine ZONE.


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How to Cite

Peddie, K. (2014). ‘I is somebody else’: Bob Dylan/Arthur Rimbaud. Popular Music History, 8(2), 169–188. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v8i2.169