Leonard Cohen Talks About Courtly Love Negatively Impacting His Work

I was attracted to that idea [courtly love] and it’s probably responsible for some atrocious work that I committed. We get hung up and fixated on ideas and sometimes they serve as coat hangers but you don’t really want to wear it with the hanger in it. So much of one’s work, I think, has got the hanger in it. In other words, you get hooked on an ideology or mythology, or a slogan or a position. And you kind of stiffen your work with it. That notion that there was a ritualized possibility between men and women that would get you over the obvious menacing and threatening and bewildering aspects of men and women together that a ritual, a courtly ritual could be invented or discerned or uncovered that would enable men and women to approach one another without the static that has reached deafening proportions today.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, interviewed by Cindy Buissaillon for CBC Radio on August 26, 1995. Originally posted April 12, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on Sharon Robinson: “When we sing together, my voice contains no loneliness.”

Sharon Robinson & Leonard Cohen Caesar's Palace 2010

In very early times, I tried that  [releasing albums without many accompanying musicians]. But in the meantime, my music became much more complex. Furthermore, I would bore myself to death to be in the studio or on stage alone. Sharon Robinson, who has worked with me since 1979 as a backup singer and who produced the new album, has succeeded in cushioning the imperfections of my voice. When we sing together, my voice contains no loneliness.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From The Happy Message of the Aged, Interview by Sven F. Goergens. (Translated by Marie Mazur, using translation software, with the aid of Adi Heindl): Focus: September 15, 2001. Originally posted Apr 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Articulate Silence Of Leonard Cohen: Jikan & Silence

When I was ordained as a zen monk, Roshi gave me the name Jikan…I have asked him what Jikan meant many times, at the appropriate moment over a drink, and he says ‘Normal silence’ or ‘Ordinary Silence’ or ‘The silence between two thoughts’.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen1

Silence is a concept Leonard Cohen often addressed. The Articulate Silence Of Leonard Cohen is a collection of posts comprising the poems, songs, quotations, and other works by Cohen focusing on the absence of sound. Today’s offering, the first in the series, features his explanation of the name Roshi gave him when he was ordained a Zen Monk (for more detail, see Interpretations of “Jikan,” The Name Given Leonard Cohen As A Zen Monk By Roshi)


  1. The silence between two thoughts by Sylvie Simmons (sylviesimmons.com) []

“I’m willing to stick with things, with relationships, with my own predicament, with knowing it’s dark a lot of the time but somehow cheerfulness keeps breaking through.” Leonard Cohen 1988

Folk-Rock’s Poet Laureate Returns by Jeff Bradley. AP story, printed in Times Daily – Sept 3, 1988.Originally posted December 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Location: Los Angeles – “It’s a tough company town. Fortunately, I’m not in that world, so I just enjoy the climate.”


From Leonard Cohen Can’t Slow Down by Gavin Edwards. Rolling Stone (India): October 24, 2014. Photo by SPBer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons. See other Leonard Cohen geopolitical quotes at

Note: Originally posted November 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric