Leonard Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen

Leonard
Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen
1934
2016

Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Poet and Novelist, Ordained as a Buddhist Monk

Author Quotes

The term clinical depression finds its way into too many conversations these days. One has a sense that a catastrophe has occurred in the psychic landscape.

There's no concession to the fact that Dylan might be a more sophisticated singer than Whitney Houston, that he's probably the most sophisticated singer we've had in a generation. Nobody is identifying our popular singers like a Matisse or Picasso. Dylan's a Picasso - that exuberance, range, and assimilation of the whole history of music.

To discover the truth in anything that is alien, first dispense with the indispensable in your own vision.

We are ugly but we have the music.

What a beautiful testament to the creative spirit and its true motives, to creative contribution coming from a place of purpose rather than a hunger for profit.

When you've fallen on the highway and you're lying in the rain, and they ask you how you're doing / of course you'll say you can't complain.

You have money, fame, youth, beauty, talent. That's a good start... for feeling good.

Your faith was strong, but you needed proof.

The troubles came and I saved what I could save. A thread of light, a particle, a wave.

There's no forsaking what you love no existential leap as witnessed here in time and blood a thousand kisses deep.

To every people the land is given on condition. Perceived or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond sovereign guarantee, beyond the nation's sweetest dreams of itself.

We do what only lovers can: make a gift out of necessity.

What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is the caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape. His house is dangerous and finite, but he is at home in the world. He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love.

Who could have foretold the heart grows old from touching others.

You have the lovers, they are nameless, their histories only for each other and you have the room, the bed, and the windows. Pretend it is a ritual. Unfurl the bed, bury the lovers, blacken the windows, let them live in that house for a generation or two. No one dares disturb them. Visitors in the corridor tip-toe past the long closed door, they listen for sounds, for a moan, for a song: nothing is heard, not even breathing. You know they are not dead, you can feel the presence of their intense love. Your children grow up, they leave you, they have become soldiers and riders. Your mate dies after a life of service. Who knows you? Who remembers you? But in your house a ritual is in progress: It is not finished: it needs more people. One day the door is opened to the lover's chamber. The room has become a dense garden, full of colors, smells, sounds you have never known. The bed is smooth as a wafer of sunlight, in the midst of the garden it stands alone. In the bed the lovers, slowly and deliberately and silently, perform the act of love. Their eyes are closed, as tightly as if heavy coins of flesh lay on them. Their lips are bruised with new and old bruises. Her hair and his beard are hopelessly tangled. When he puts his mouth against her shoulder she is uncertain whether her shoulder has given or received the kiss. All her flesh is like a mouth. He carries his fingers along her waist and feels his own waist caressed. She holds him closer and his own arms tighten around her. She kisses the hand besider her mouth. It is his hand or her hand, it hardly matters, there are so many more kisses. You stand beside the bed, weeping with happiness, you carefully peel away the sheets from the slow-moving bodies. Your eyes filled with tears, you barely make out the lovers, As you undress you sing out, and your voice is magnificent because now you believe it is the first human voice heard in that room. The garments you let fall grow into vines. You climb into bed and recover the flesh. You close your eyes and allow them to be sewn shut. You create an embrace and fall into it. There is only one moment of pain or doubt as you wonder how many multitudes are lying beside your body, but a mouth kisses and a hand soothes the moment away.

Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm

The wars they will be fought again The holy dove be caught again bought and sold and bought again; the dove is never free.

They ended every speech with the word hiro, which means: like I said. Thus each man took responsibility for intruding into the inarticulate murmur of the spheres. To hiro they added the word koue, a cry of joy or distress, according to whether it was sung or howled. Thus they essayed to piece the mysterious curtain which hangs between all talking men: at the end of every utterance a man stepped back, so to speak, and attempted to interpret his words to the listener, attempted to subvert the beguiling intellect with the noise of true emotion.

To have [Adam's Cohen] microscopic attention to my work was really a great privilege.

We met when we were almost young.

What is most original in a man's nature is often that which is most desperate. Thus new systems are forced on the world by men who simply cannot bear the pain of living with what is. Creators care nothing for their systems except that they be unique. If Hitler had been born in Nazi Germany he wouldn't have been content to enjoy the atmosphere.

Why don't you try to do without him, why don't you try to live alone? Do you really need his hands for your passion? Do you really need his heart for your throne? Do you need his labor for your baby? Do you need his beast for the bone? Do you need to hold a leash to be a lady? I know that you can make it, you can make it on your own.

You have to keep cracking yourself open or you become a parody of yourself.

Your servant here, he has been told to say it clear, to say it cold: It's over, it ain't going any further And now the wheels of heaven stop you feel the devil's riding crop Get ready for the future: it is murder

The winter has not killed us again!

First Name
Leonard
Last Name
Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen
Birth Date
1934
Death Date
2016
Bio

Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Poet and Novelist, Ordained as a Buddhist Monk