Autumn here, the one I always remembered, red trees and sunlight, a bright wind swirling the leaves and skirts, the buildings more solid for all the fragile movement of the trees and walkers.
Leonard Cohen’s elegant writing style is evident not only in his poems and songs but also his personal correspondence. This Leonard Cohen epistolary except is from his Oct 6, 1963 letter to Redmond Wallis, a writer from New Zealand, who was Cohen’s friend as well as his fellow resident on Hydra. At the time this letter was written, Leonard Cohen was working in Montreal, and Wallis was at his home on Hydra. This letter is archived at the National Library of New Zealand – Wellington. Originally posted Mar 24, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
From Leonard Cohen Interview: April 28, 1985. Mixed Bag with Pete Fornatale (WNEW-FM, NYC)
From Leonard Cohen’s Poems Court The Universe by Mary Campbell (AP: 1968). Originally posted February 24, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
For more about the guys who take care of Leonard Cohen’s more mundane chores, see The Guy Who Carries Leonard Cohen’s Guitar. Photo by J.S. Carenza III. Originally posted July 18, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Whither Thou Goest, was often used by Leonard Cohen, who sang it a capella with other band members, as a concluding benediction to many of the concerts of his 1988 and 1993 tours.
Written by Guy Singer in 1954, the lyrics of Whither Thou Goest are derived from Ruth 1:16-17, which is the loving vow Ruth, a widow, makes to follow Naomi, who had been her mother-in-law, even though that meant leaving her own country and family. The King James Version of that scripture with Ruth’s pledge follows:
16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
This canticle, its intonations a particularly good fit with Cohen’s voice and phrasings, was resurrected for the Blue Alert concert tour with Cohen joining Anjani on stage for this final song.
And, although Whither Thou Goest continues to serve as a farewell blessing to the audience [at time of original posting], now it is also a strikingly tender and intimate song as performed by these two musicians.
Leonard Cohen & Anjani – Whither Thou Goest
Joe’s Pub, NYC: April 24, 2007
Note: Originally posted Apr 2, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric