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 was beautiful when he sat alone, he was like me, he had wide lapels, he was holding the mug in the hardest possible way so that his fingers were all twisted but still long and beautiful, he didn?t like to sit alone all the time, but this time, I swear, he didn?t care on way or the other. I?ll tell you why I like to sit alone, because I?m a sadist, that?s why we like to sit alone, because we?re the sadists who like to sit alone. He sat alone because he was beautifully dressed for the occasion and because he was not a civilian. We are the sadists you don?t have to worry about, you think, and we have no opinion on the matter of whether you have to worry about us, and we don?t even like to think about the matter because it baffles us. Maybe he doesn?t mean a thing to me anymore but I think he was like me. You didn?t expect to fall in love, I said to myself and at the same time I answered gently, Do you think so? I heard you humming beautifully, your hum said that I can?t ignore you, that I?d finally come around for a number of delicious reasons that only you knew about, and here I am, Miss Blood. And you won?t come back, you won?t come back to where you left me, and that?s why you keep my number, so you don?t dial it by mistake when you?re fooling with the dial not even dialing numbers. You begin to bore us with your pain and we have decided to change your pain. You said you were happiest when you danced, you said you were happiest when you danced with me, now which do you mean? And so we changed his pain, we threw the idea of a body at him and we told him a joke, and then he thought a great deal about laughing and about the code. And he thought that she thought that he thought that she thought the worst thing a woman could do was to take a man away from his work because that made her what, ugly or beautiful? And now you?ve entered the mathematical section of your soul which you claimed you never had. I suppose that this, plus the broken heart, makes you believe that now you have a perfect right to go out and tame the sadists. He had the last line of each verse of the song but he didn?t have any of the other lines, the last line was always the same, Don?t call yourself a secret unless you mean to keep it. He thought he knew, or he actually did know too much about singing to be a singer; and if there is actually such a condition, is anybody in it, and are sadists born there? It is not a question mark, it is not an exclamation point, it is a full stop by the man who wrote Parasites of Heaven. Even if we stated our case very clearly and all those who held as we do came to our side, all of them, we would still be very few.

I always had a sense of being in this for keeps, if your health lasts you. And you?re fortunate enough to have the days at your disposal so you can keep on doing this. I never had the sense that there was an end. That there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot.

I did my best, it wasn't much I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch. I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you. And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.

I feel that, you know, the enormous luck I've had in being able to make a living, and to never have had to have written one word that I didn't want to write, to be able to have satisfied that dictum I set for myself, which was not to work for pay, but to be paid for my work ? just to be able to satisfy those standards that I set for myself has been an enormous privilege.

I heard of a man who says words so beautifully that if he only speaks their name women give themselves to him. If I am dumb beside your body while silence blossoms like tumors on our lips it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside our door.

I see you standing on the other side. I don't know how the river got so wide. I loved you, baby, way back when. And all the bridges are burning that we might have crossed and I feel so close to everything that we've lost. We'll never, we'll never have to lose it again. Now I bid You farewell, I don't when I'll be back. They're moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track. But you'll be hearing from me, baby, long after I'm gone. I'll speaking to you sweetly from a window in the Tower Of Song.

I walk through the old yellow sunlight to get to my kitchen table the poem about me lying there with the books in which I am listed among the dead and future Dylans.

If I knew where the good songs came from, I?d go there more often. It?s a mysterious condition. It?s much like the life of a Catholic nun. You?re married to a mystery.

I'm not a very nostalgic person. I don't really look at the past and summon up regrets, or self-congratulations, it just is not a mechanism that operates very strongly in me. So I neither have regrets nor occasions for self-congratulations.

It is different [to perform in Israel] because it arises from very deep wells of affiliation.

It's hard to hold the hand of anyone who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.

Lets sing another song, boys/ this one has grown old and bitter.

Maybe there's a God above, as for me, all I've ever seemed to learn from love is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you. Yeah but it's not a complaint that you hear tonight, it's not the laughter of someone who claims to have seen the light. No it's a cold and it's a very lonely Hallelujah.

My two great heroes are W. B. Yeats and Fernando Garcia Lorca.

Patrick Leonard is such a magnificent composer. I don't think there is anybody working today with those kind of skills that could translate one of my tunes into that really beautiful chamber music.

Self-portrait by Leonard Cohen from Fifteen Poems

String Reprise/Treaty: I wish there was a treaty we could sign. It's over now, the water and the wine. We were then broken but now we're borderline. And I wish there was a treaty, I wish there was a treaty between your love and mine.

The duty of lovers is to tarnish the Golden Rule.

A heavy burden lifted from my soul, I heard that love was out of my control.

Ah, you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win. You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline. How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin. First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

And summoned now to deal with your invincible defeat. You live your life as if it's real.

Believe nothing of me except that I felt your beauty more closely than my own. I did not see any cities burn, I heard no promises of endless night, I felt your beauty more closely than my own. Promise me that I will return. 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.

Do not be a magician - be magic!

Everybody knows that the war is over. Everybody knows the good guys lost. Everybody knows the fight was fixed. The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.

Games are nature's most beautiful creation.

First Name
Last Name
Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen
Birth Date
Death Date

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