Leonard Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen

Cohen, fully Leonard Norman Cohen

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

Author Quotes

Then I start to struggle with a feeble song which will overcome me many miles from home.

They left in front of the cafe table. If you knew the owner in French could have wine in teacups. He had always known that he did not know and that would never come to know it. Worship a pair of legs is not enough. He had never cared to know who was Tamara, but only what it represented. She confessed to him and talked for three hours. I'm sorry, Tamara. I want to touch people as if I were a magician, to change them to hurt them, to leave my mark, they become beautiful. I want to be the hypnotist that does not run the risk falling asleep, too. I want to kiss keeping one eye open. Or maybe I did do that anymore. . I do not want

To the men and women who own men and women those of us meant to be lovers we will not pardon you for wasting our bodies and time.

We used to play music for fun. Much more than now. Now nobody picks up a guitar unless they're paid for it.

What were the bodies like on the beach? Ugly and white and ruined by offices.

Women stand for the objective world for a man. They stand for the thing that you're not and that's what you always reach for in a song.

You live your life as if it's real... a thousand kisses deep.

There are always meaningful songs for somebody. People are doing their courting, people are finding their wives, people are making babies, people are washing their dishes, people are getting through the day, with songs that we may find insignificant. But their significance is affirmed by others. There?s always someone affirming the significance of a song by taking a woman into his arms or by getting through the night. That?s what dignifies the song. Songs don?t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within. I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them, first we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

Toward the end of the interview, Cohen reflects on the fuel for his own spiritual machinery as an artist. It?s a sentiment of especial bittersweetness in the wake of Cohen?s death, and one as true of the creative life as of the life of service (which is animated by its own kind of creativity); as true of making art as of fighting for justice:

Well I am the one who loves changing from nothing to one.

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.

Yeah I missed you since the place got wrecked by the winds of change and the weeds of sex. Looks like freedom but it feels like death. It's something in between, I guess. It's closing time.

You lose your grip, and then you slip into the Masterpiece.

There are no letters in the mailbox and there are no grapes upon the vine. And there are no chocolates in your boxes anymore and there are no diamonds in the mine.

They shook hands and kissed each other when the light was pretty dim, golden filtering through the thorny bushes. Then slowly returned home, no holding hands, but bumping into each other.

Travel: Loving you, flesh to flesh, I often thought Of travelling penniless to some mud throne Where a master might instruct me how to plot My life away from pain, to love alone In the bruiseless embrace of stone and lake. Lost in the fields of your hair I was never lost Enough to lose a way I had to take; Breathless beside your body I could not exhaust The will that forbid me contract, vow, Or promise, and often while you slept I looked in awe beyond your beauty. Now I know why many men have stopped and wept Halfway between the loves they leave and seek, And wondered if travel leads them anywhere ? Horizons keep the soft line of your cheek, The windy sky?s a locket for your hair.

Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth one more thin gypsy thief. Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes I thought it was there for good so I never tried. And Jane came by with a lock of your hair she said that you gave it to her that night that you planned to go clear.

When I left they were sleeping, I hope you run into them soon. Don't turn on the lights, you can read their address by the moon. And you won't make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night: We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.

Yes, you who must leave everything that you cannot control, It begins with your family, and soon it comes round to your soul. Well I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned: When you're not feeling holy your loneliness says that you've sinned.

You say I took the name in vain I don't even know the name. But if I did, well, really, what's it to you? There's a blaze of light in every word It doesn't matter which you heard The holy or the broken Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. 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/

There are some men: There are some men who should have mountains to bear their names through time Grave markers are not high enough or green and sons go far away to lose the fist their father?s hand will always seem I had a friend he lived and died in mighty silence and with dignity left no book son or lover to mourn. Nor is this a mourning song but only a naming of this mountain on which I walk fragrant, dark and softly white under the pale of mist I name this mountain after him.

They were middle-class and tame. I didn't know I had permission to murder and to maim.

Undertow: I set out one night when the tide was low, there were signs in the sky but I did not know I'd be caught in the grip of the undertow. Ditched on a beach where the sea hates to go with a child in my arms and a chill in my soul. And my heart the shape of a begging bowl.

Well it's true, ever since I stopped eating meat I feel a lot better among animals, I feel I can be much more honest when I pat a dog.

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