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Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”

As I was reading “Song of the Banner at Daybreak”, I was reminded of this song when the banner asks, “For what are we, mere strips of cloth profiting nothing,/Only flapping in the wind?”.  The poet, does not hear and see strips alone, but much more. 

So other than the “wind” – how does Dylan’s song relate to Whitman?  I think it poses questions that Whitman might ask if he were alive today – questions he began to ask in his lifetime that still remain unanswered.  I think the ambiguity of the answer that is “blowin’ in the wind” would have been appealing to Whitman.  The answers surround us and yet eludes us.  While early, hopeful Whitman may have been disheartened by this answer, the later, more disillusioned Whitman may have regrettfully agreed.