Robert Johnson

Bob Dylan: 'The Homer of our time'

Bob Dylan: 'The Homer of our time'

Bob Dylan opened the doors of what was possible in popular music with his 1965 single “Like a Rolling Stone,” a 6-minute epic built on four poetically surrealistic verses linked by the emotionally liberating “How does it feel?” chorus.

Then he blew those doors off the hinges the following year with his “Blonde on Blonde” album, which took his literate lyrics into the realm of the epic poets of ancient times.

In announcing Dylan as the 2016 recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature, the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary, Sara...