We spread everything from lies to disease to tables to the word. We can spread things beneath our feet, over our bodies, or across the sky.  We can put spread on a cracker or tuck ourselves under one before we sleep.  I’m confident enough in the English language that poets have explored the range of “spread” through the centuries in content and rhyme.

In the last verse of “Beyond Here Lies Nothin‘,” the only song Dylan uses “spread” in a rhyme sails are spread:

My ship is in the harbor
And the sails are spread
Listen to me pretty baby
Lay your hand upon my head
Beyond here lies nothin’
Nothin’ done and nothin’ said

Dylan rhymes “spread” with “head” and “said.”  All four verses have a three word rhyming pattern, rhyme spread out nicely within the song, beyond it . . . well . . . there’s nothin.

For the record, William Butler Yates’ use of the word “spread” in “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” is my favorite poetic moment with “spread.”  Something about spreading your dreams that works for me”:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

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1 Comment

  1. Kenny

     /  January 15, 2013

    You can also make money if you’re on the right side of a spread!


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