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

This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love. You know, where we have the sense that we can't live without love. That life has very little meaning without love.

We all are motivated by deep impulses and deep appetites to serve, even though we may not be able to locate that which we are hoping to serve. So this is just a part of my nature and I think everybody else's nature to offer oneself at the critical moment when the emergency becomes articulate. It's only then that we can locate that willingness to serve.

Well, you know, there's depression and depression. What I mean by depression in my own case is that depression isn't just the blues. It's not just like I have a hangover in the weekend... the girl didn't show up or something like that. It isn't that. It's not really depression; it's a kind of mental violence which stops you from functioning properly from one moment to the next. You lose something somewhere and suddenly you're gripped by a kind of angst of the heart and of the spirit.

When things get really bad, just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig. That's about all you can do.

You can say that I've grown bitter but of this you can be sure. The rich have get their channels in the bedrooms of the poor. And there's a mighty Judgement coming but I may be wrong.

You who build these altars now to sacrifice these children, you must not do it anymore. A scheme is not a vision and you never have been tempted by a demon or a god.

There?s a line in ?The Future?: ?When they said repent, I wonder what they meant.? I understood that they forgot how to build the arch for several hundred years. Masons forgot how to do certain kinds of arches, it was lost. So it is in our time that certain spiritual mechanisms that were very useful have been abandoned and forgot. Redemption, repentance, resurrection. All those ideas are thrown out with the bath water. People became suspicious of religion plus all these redemptive mechanisms that are very useful.

This is the very contrary of dropping out. Most people can?t wait to get home to their house or apartment and shut that door and turn on the TV. To me, that?s dropping out.

We almost began a perfect conversation, F. said as he turned on the six o'clock news. He turned the radio very loud and began to shout wildly against the voice of the commentator, who was reciting a list of disasters. Sail on, sail on, O Ship of State, auto accidents, births, Berlin, cures for cancer! Listen, my friend, listen to the present, the right now, it's all around us, painted like a target, red, white, and blue. Sail into the target like a dart, a fluke bull's eye in a dirty pub. Empty your memory and listen to the fire around you. Don't forget your memory, let it exist somewhere precious in all the colors that it needs but somewhere else, hoist your memory on the Ship of State like a pirate's sail, and aim yourself at the tinkly present. Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to see the acropolis like the Indians did who never even had one? Fuck a saint, that's how, find a little saint and fuck her over and over in some pleasant part of heaven, get right into her plastic altar, dwell in her silver medal, fuck her until she tinkles like a souvenir music box, until the memorial lights go on for free, find a little saintly faker like Teresa or Catherine Tekakwitha or Lesbia, whom prick never knew but who lay around all day in a chocolate poem, find one of these quaint impossible cunts and fuck her for your life, coming all over the sky, fuck her on the moon with a steel hourglass up your hole, get tangled in her airy robes, suck her nothing juices, lap, lap, lap, a dog in the ether, then climb down to this fat earth and slouch around the fat earth in your stone shoes, get clobbered by a runaway target, take the senseless blows again and again, a right to the mind, piledriver on the heart, kick in the scrotum, help! help! it's my time, my second, my splinter of the shit glory tree, police, fire men! look at the traffic of happiness and crime, it's burning in crayon like the acropolis rose! And so on.

We're always experiencing joy or sadness. But there are lots of people who've closed down. And there are times in one's life when one has to close down just to regroup.

When we are touched by a song, it is because the artist cannot hide himself.

You don't know me from the wind, you never will, you never did. I'm the little Jew who wrote the Bible. I've seen the nations rise and fall, I've heard their stories, heard them all but love's the only engine of survival.

You who wish to conquer pain, you must learn what makes one kind.

There?s a line in The Future: When they said repent, I wonder what they meant. I understood that they forgot how to build the arch for several hundred years. Masons forgot how to do certain kinds of arches, it was lost. So it is in our time that certain spiritual mechanisms that were very useful have been abandoned and forgot. Redemption, repentance, resurrection. All those ideas are thrown out with the bath water. People became suspicious of religion plus all these redemptive mechanisms that are very useful.

This mental space is occupied and everything is mine.

We are not mad. We are human. We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.

We're drinking and we're dancing but there's nothing really happening. The place is dead as Heaven on a Saturday night.

When you call me close to tell me your body is not beautiful I want to summon the eyes and hidden mouths of stone and light and water to testify against you.

You go to Heaven once you've been to Hell.

You win a while, and then it?s done - Your little winning streak.

The silver knives are flashing in that tired old cafe.

There's a blaze of light in every word. It does not matter Which you heard. The holy or the broken hallelujah.

This was your heart, this swarm of flies. This was once your mouth, this bowl of lies. You serve them well, I?m not surprised. You?re of their kin, you?re of their kind.

We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.

We're in a world where there's famine and hunger and people are dodging bullets and having their nails pulled out in dungeons so it's very hard for me to place any high value on the work that I do to write a song. Yeah, I work hard but compared to what?

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