"Dangling Conversation" is a classic example of a good song and a better arrangement that tried to do too much within the context of popular music. The first of Paul Simon's major songs after "The Sounds of Silence" that did not capture the imagination of the public. In that sense, it's usually regarded as a failure for not making the Top Ten. In fact, it was the last of Simon's attempts at "literary rock" -- as a follow-up to "Richard Cory" and "I Am a Rock," it was also the most subtle of them, a single acoustic guitar backed by a string section and a single drum that may have been too sophisticated for the AM radio of its period. The song's references to "Emily Dickinson" and "Robert Frost" were not only non sequiturs when juxtaposed, to anyone who was familiar with the two literary figures, but also alienated teenagers and adults who might not have paid attention in their high school or college English classes. In the end, sophisticated listeners tolerated it without embracing the song, and casual audiences kept it at arm's length, where its literary conceits seemed to be keeping them. The song was part of Simon & Garfunkel's concert sets in late 1966 and 1967, but was quickly dropped once they had more new repertory established.