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Poet Nic honours Bob Dylan classic Blood On The Tracks

By Toby Neal | Entertainment | Published:

Lifelong Bob Dylan fan Nic Outterside has paid poetic homage to his hero with his own body of work echoing Dylan's classic 1970s album Blood On The Tracks.

Blood In The Cracks is a collection of Nic's poetry with each of the poems being a mirror of one of the 10 tracks on the album.

"I've been a massive Bob Dylan fan since I was a teenager, and I'm 63 now," said retired newspaper editor Nic, who moved to Wolverhampton about four years ago from Whitchurch.

"Most people who follow his music and his art know that Blood On The Tracks is one of his three best albums, and to me it is his best, and have used it to listen to in times of joy, relaxation, depression, and cuddling up on the sofa with a bottle of wine. I love everything about it."

Over the years, he said, he had written several poems based on the tracks on the album.

"The idea came to me that why don't I use all 10 of the tracks on the album as templates for poems? All of the 10 poems reflect an equivalent track on the album either in subject matter, or the rhythm and meter of it.

"I struggled on the last one, A Handful of Rain, based loosely on the last track on the album called Buckets of Rain. The most difficult one to write was Samantha, the Flamingo and the Narcissist, based on the track Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts. It's a narrative poem, which tells a story.

"It's an homage, I suppose, to the album, and I've done it for no commercial reason whatsoever. It was purely a labour of love, something I wanted to do before I die."

Nevertheless, Blood In The Cracks is available through Amazon.

Nic, from Lonsdale Road, retired from journalism in 2013 and his wife is a lecturer at Wolverhampton University at its Telford campus. During his 28-year career he had edited four newspapers, the last being the Denbighshire Free Press based in Mold.

As a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Brighton and Hove Albion, he is now writing a book called Death In Grimsby – 50 Years Following Brighton and Hove Albion, which he is hoping to launch at the club's stadium in May.

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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