I think of Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up I Blue” as a real-life situation.  It makes me feel inquisitive, yet passionate at the same time.  A line that especially evokes curiosity for me is, “They never did like mama’s homemade dress”.  But I also think this poem is passionate because “I just kept lookin’ at the side of her face.” Perhaps because the narrator in Dylan’s song is expressing his love for his lover in an unusual way.

The speaker is in love with someone, but he or his lover doesn’t want anyone to know.  I feel like the speaker is a very caring person and a loving person. This is suggested by the line, “But she never escaped my mind.” The speaker seems to be speaking to his lover’s parents or his parents, and perhaps to the readers’. I say this because he wants to express how he feels. The poem doesn’t seem to spring from a particular historical moment.  The poem revolves around several themes, including love, pain, trust or maybe heartbreak, or patience.

If this poem were a question, the answer would be “Don’t give up on love.” If it were an answer, the question would be “What do you need to do show you love someone?”  The title could suggest someone is caught up in a love situation with someone and can’t get that person off his/her mind.    

The poem’s form is an elegy and maybe a narrative poem. This form is a vehicle for the content of the poem.  If the poem were an iambic pentameter, it would not guide me toward an understanding of the poem’s meaning.

In line 11 of the middle stanza, Dylan’s narrator says he has seen many other girls. “I seen a lot of women /  But she never escaped my mind, and I just grew / Tangled up in blue.” He goes on to say, though, that this one has never left his mind. You can tell he loves her dearly.  Dylan’s speaker may be tangled up in his thoughts about this girl. That could be why he ends each stanza with “Tangled up in Blue.” What happens when you still have thoughts about someone you walked away from?  The song seems to answer this question by saying you may never get over the person.

How do you express your love for someone? This song shows how Dylan’s narrator expresses his love for this person by admiring her. “I just kept lookin’ at the side of her face / and She was standing there in back of my chair / Said to me, “Don’t I know your name?” / I muttered somethin’ underneath my breath / She studied the lines on my face / I must admit I felt a little uneasy…” Dylan’s word choice shows how the speaker of the poem is in love with this person, he gets butterflies when he’s around her. Dylan wrote this song in 1974. He revised it after 1975. The seagull book of poems edited by Joseph Kelly sees this song as a poem so, reading this song and listening to the song, it’s very much edited.

In line ten in stanza four, Dylan writes, “I muttered somethin’ underneath my breath / She studied the lines on my face / I must admit I felt a little uneasy.” You can tell Dylan’s narrator is feeling butterflies in his stomach and his heart just by being close to her.

How do you feel when you are close to someone you like? This song answers this question by adding the musician’s feeling towards the girl he is crushing on.

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