The Rain Keeps Falling

Deborah Rose


The force of disaster hit me in the heart when, as a young woman, I heard Bob Dylan sing ‘Hard Rain’. In a voice stunned by violence, the young man reports on a multitude of forces that drag the world into catastrophe. In the 1960s I heard the social justice in the song. In 2004 the environmental issues ambush me. The song starts and ends in the dying world of trees and rivers. The poet’s words in both domains of justice are eerily prophetic. They call across the music, and across the years, saying that a hard rain is coming. The words bear no story at all; they give us a series of compelling images, an account of impending calamity. The artistry of the poet—Bob (Billy Boy) Dylan—offers sequences of reports that, like Walter Benjamin’s storm from paradise, pile wreckage upon wreckage.


Poetry; environment; social justice; music; Bob Dylan; Billy Boy

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