from the backpages of robert zimmerman

The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
from ‘Visions of Johanna’ by Bob Dylan

in my opinion this has got to be one of the best sentences ever thought up by man. it is unique, timeless and self-sufficiently meaningless. besides conveying meaning in the interest of communication, ingenious use of words can transcend meaning and evoke an image in the mind of otherworldly beauty. something that hints at an alternative and hopefully better world, tantalizing only because it is unachievable.

electricity is something that we cannot see but holds great sway over us. it creates and can destroy. what is the first thing that comes to mind with the word ‘ghost’? fear. this lends a menacing undertone to the line. this woman must be undoubtedly stunning to look at and at the same time holds a fearsome power over the author. she possesses an ironclad will and an indomitable spirit which she flaunts with great aplomb. she is beauty and power personified.


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