Leonard Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen

Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen

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

Author Quotes

He never described himself as a poet or his work as poetry. The fact that the lines do not come to the edge of the page is no guarantee. Poetry is a verdict, not an occupation. He hated to argue about the techniques of verse. The poem is a dirty, bloody, burning thing that has to be grabbed first with bare hands. Once the fire celebrated Light, the dirt Humility, the blood Sacrifice. Now the poets are professional fire-eaters, freelancing at any carnival. The fire goes down easily and honors no one in particular.

I always considered myself a minor writer. My province is small, and I try to explore it very, very thoroughly.

I come from a country where we do not have the same struggles as you have. I respect your struggles. And it may surprise you, but I respect both sides of this struggle. It seems to be that in Europe there needs to be a left foot and a right foot to move forward. I wish that both feet move forward and the body moves towards its proper destiny. This is an intense country; the people are heroic, the spirit is independent. It is a difficult country to govern, it needs a strong government and a strong union? I would like to say to you, to the leaders of the left, and the leaders of the right, I sing... I sing for everyone. My song has no flag, my song has no party. And I say the prayer, that we said in our synagogue, I say it for the leader of your union and the leader of your party. May the Lord put a spirit, a wisdom and understanding into the hearts of your leaders and into the hearts of all their counsellors.

I dreamed about you baby. It was just the other night. Most of you was naked. Ah, but some of you was light.

I have to finish it in order to know whether it deserves to survive.

I remember when I moved in you and the holy dove she was moving too, and every single breath that we drew was Hallelujah.

I try to make those references. I try to make sure that they're not too obscure. But outside of that, I dare not claim anything in the spiritual realm for my own.

I?ve seen the nations rise and fall. I?ve heard their stories, heard them all, but love?s the only engine of survival.

I'm just waiting for the miracle to come.

It doesn't matter what you do because it's going to happen anyway.

It's coming to America first, the cradle of the best and of the worst. It?s here they got the range And the machinery for change And it's here they got the spiritual thirst. It's here the family's broken And it's here the lonely say That the heart has got to open In a fundamental way: Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. O mighty Ship of State! To the Shores of Need Past the Reefs of Greed Through the Squalls of Hate Sail on, sail on.

Just as a bird in its cage. As a drinker among the bustle of midnight, so I tried to be free, my way.

May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude.

My sense of proprietorship has been so weak that actually I didn't pay attention and I lost the copyrights on a lot of the songs.

Ordinary eternal machinery, like the grinding of the stars.

Sail on, sail on, o' might Ship of State. To the shores of need, past the reefs of greed, through the squalls of hate. Sail on, sail on, sail on.

Songs don?t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.

The Dream O I had such a wonderful dream, she said. I dreamed you made love to me. At last, he said to himself, the spirit has taken up some of the heavy work.

A community is an alibi for the failure of individual love.

After a while, if you are sufficiently bored or unemployed, you may want to read it from cover to cover.

And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers. There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning, they are leaning out for love, and they will lean that way forever, while Suzanne holds the mirror.

Before I can discard the verse, I have to write it? It?s just as hard to write a bad verse as a good verse. I can?t discard a verse before it is written because it is the writing of the verse that produces whatever delights or interests or facets that are going to catch the light. The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.

Deprivation is the mother of poetry.

Every time you grab at love you will lose a snowflake of your memory.

From bitter searching of the heart, quickened with passion and with pain we rise to play a greater part this is the faith from which we start.

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Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen
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Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Poet and Novelist, Ordained as a Buddhist Monk