Van Morrison

Faber and Faber has announced that it is to publish 'Lit Up Inside', a collection of Van Morrison's selected lyrics, in October. (Just in time for Christmas.)

Do song lyrics make good poetic verse?

Certainly I have songs of Leonard Cohen as verse as well as his poetry books.

But, for me Bob Dylan on paper doesn't always work.

Some Paul Simon songs read as poetry though, such as America.

However don't you always hear the melody in your brain..?

But then Patti Smith was a writer, including poetry, before she turned to music...

Generally I think you are right. Singers don't write poems, poets don't sing.
Doesn't mean you can't write good lyrics though as does Van, Dylan and Simon. Cohen is one who can do both.
Patti Smith is a very good poet as well.

It is a matter of taste. I had a look at some of Van's lyrics and know what I would not bother to buy. Cohen, probably better as a poet anyway. Some Dylan does, some don't bother. Simon, always look and sound better with music. Same for various other people, Lou Reed, good example but not on paper please. I like most of them on records, have looked at lyrics by most at some time or another but think that singers should write songs and sing whilst poets should not try singing. Cohen comes out the exception, but then far too depressive for me ever to have bought either.