BOSTON – RR Auction‘s May 19 Marvels of Modern Music sale is sure to be a hit. The auction is filled with incredible autographs and manuscripts, including an early original Bob Dylan poetry collection. The 16 pages of material, dubbed Poems Without Titles, were written by Dylan when he was a teenager, in 1959 and 1960, and will be offered in a series of individual lots. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.
Highlights from the collection, which Dylan penned while at the University of Minnesota, include Once Upon a Time, a lengthy four-page handwritten poem in pencil by Dylan. The long, playful poem is written in a two-column format and tells a circular tale of youthful lusts, loves and conquests. Chronicling a wheel of ex-girlfriends by Judy, Ione, Carol, Barbara, another Judy and Adele before a final return to Judy #1. The young Dylan’s composition is not only lyrically rich — often evoking the bawdy imagery common in traditional folk and blues — but visually interesting. While the poem’s opening line foretells a fairytale ending, the closing lines suggest an epiphany of maturity — the realities of adulthood have replaced the fables of youth. Once Upon a Time carries an estimate of $50,000-$60,000.
Another Dylan lot features Sholom Alechem, a trio of handwritten poems, with two signed “Dylanism” and one signed “Dylan.” The first piece begins with a Hebrew greeting, “Sholom alechem, all you mothers,” adapting a phrase from his life as Robert Allen Zimmerman, who celebrated his bar mitzvah in Hibbing, Minnesota, on May 22, 1954. These three poems, all with autobiographical undertones, are unique in their diversity: the first is written as something of a conversation; the second is an outtake from everyday life; and the third comments on man’s search for meaning. Thematically, however, they all address a crisis of identity — perhaps drawn from life, inspired by the poet’s metamorphosis from Robert Zimmerman to Bob Dylan. Sholom Alechem is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.
Handwritten lyrics by other rock legends in the May 19 sale include autograph lyrics by Jim Morrison for The Doors’ hit song Love Her Madly. The complete handwritten lyrics comprise three pages, penned in brown felt tip in Morrison’s distinctive hand. At the head, Morrison credits the song to Doors guitarist “Krieger,” which has been struck through, as have the first two words in the title: “Don’t you love her madly?” The text is the complete final version as released in 1971. It is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.
Also on offer is a circa-1965 published poem by John Lennon, titled The Faulty Bagnose, which appeared in his second book of nonsense poetry and prose, A Spaniard in the Works. The poem is the complete and original manuscript as published by Jonathan Cape on June 24, 1965. It showcases Lennon’s critically-acclaimed literary talents and was composed at the height of Beatlemania. Its estimate is $30,000-$40,000.
The Marvels of Modern Music by RR Auction began April 14 and will conclude May 19. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
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