Leonard Cohen Invokes Irving Layton’s Dictum: “Whatever else, poetry is freedom”

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Q: What is your opinion on the proposition that ‘the visions of poets may teach those who do not want to know it that there is more in shadow than in light?’

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I don’t think the poet has a mission. I think that activity more appropriately applies to the priest, the teacher, the politician, and the warrior. As my friend Layton wrote: ‘Whatever else, poetry is freedom.’ It seems a very aggressive proposition to teach someone something they don’t want to learn.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From a 2001 online chat. Photo of Leonard Cohen by Roland Godefroy (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Originally posted March 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric