“I’m not interested in posterity, which is a paltry form of eternity. I want to see the headlines… I’m not interested in an insurance plan for my work.” Leonard Cohen 1966

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Leonard Cohen Considers the Poetic Mind. CBC Interview. 1966. Originally posted July 16, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I’ve always been there serving the nameless, and it doesn’t matter if I don’t have a voice.” Leonard Cohen

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Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson performing in 1980 (Amsterdam)

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What we used to call the artist is becoming obsolete, and for some people I symbolize that. They feel my loyalty has not been compromised. I’ve always been there serving the nameless, and it doesn’t matter if I don’t have a voice.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From The Face May Not Be Familiar, but the Name Should Be: It’s Composer and Cult Hero Leonard Cohen by Pamela Andriotakis & Richard Oulahan. People: January 14, 1980. Photo by Pete Purnell. (see Leonard Cohen In Concert 1974 To 1993: Photos By Pete Purnell). Originally posted Dec 31, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The taste of significance is that which we call poetry” Leonard Cohen

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I don’t think [poetry is] for everybody. In its pure form it’s like bee pollen. I feel that way about poetry. The honey of poetry is all over the place. It is in the writing of the National Geographic, when an idea is absolutely clear and beautiful; it’s in movies; it’s all over because the taste of significance is that which we call poetry, when something resonates with a particular kind of significance. We may not call it poetry but we’ve experienced poetry. It’s got something to do with truth and rhythm and authority and music.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Jewish Book News Interview With Leonard Cohen by Arthur Kurzweil And Pamela Roth: 1994. Originally posted Aug 8, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on the Destructive Continuity of Poems

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That’s what a poem does at all times. It dissolves all poetry before it and after it. It is also solidly linked in an unbroken chain with all that has come before it and all that is to come after.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993.

Note: Compare with Pablo Picasso’s dictum “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”

Leonard Cohen on Mick Jagger in 1993 “He’s saying something that is heavy & beautiful, and he’s saying it beautifully”

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Yes, it is true that a lot of people burn themselves out. A lot of people die, especially in rock and roll. But on the other hand, there are people who continue to perfect their art. Curiously enough — and this is probably a very unpopular example — I think the last album by Mick Jagger [Wandering Spirit], who is a figure who is not really taken seriously… That’s a guy who is somehow not considered to be at the cutting edge of his own spirit any longer. Somehow, he has dissolved into the celebrity that he so ferociously courted. But you know, I had occasion to look carefully at the lyrics of his last album [Wandering Spirit]. They’re really quite surprising. They’re pretty good. It’s been a long time since I’ve turned to Mick Jagger for spiritual information! I wanted to see what Mick Jagger was doing these days, ’cause all you hear of him is he shows up with a beautiful woman here or there, or he’s having marital problems, or he’s signing a $60 million contract. It seems not to have anything to do with what we’re interest in. But when I looked at that album, he says, ‘I’ve seen a whole lot of shit, I’ve seen more than most guys.’ He’s speaking the truth. He says, ‘I really have been on those mountains. I really have had dinner with those kings and princes and slept with those beautiful women. And now, from the point of view of this experience. I’m asking you: Is there nothing beyond the kisses? Is there anything better than fucking? I’d like to know because it isn’t very good.’ He’s saying something that is heavy and beautiful, and he’s saying it beautifully. And then … Nobody listening. You know it’s just like another little Mick Jagger record. And it’s cool. It’s OK. We don’t have to worry about the guy, either. We know he’s a billionaire, and we know he has these women. Putting all these things aside, which is difficult to do in a case like Mick Jagger, you see that this guy’s still on this trip at the age of 40 odd.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993.

Also see Leonard Cohen On Mick Jagger & The Rolling Stones “The bread and wine of the pop groups” (1974)

Leonard Cohen On The Positive Impact Of Business On Art

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There has always been a business element [to art]. It’s good. That’s why movies are the most interesting art form today. They involve the most money, and anybody that can master the form knows a lot about human life. That’s why poetry is the least interesting art form today, because you don’t have to enter the world to write it. There is no demand, so poetry is no longer a significant expression for most people.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen — Haute Dog by Mr. Bonzai (David Goggin). Music Smarts: July 10, 2010 (archived from 1988). Note: Originally posted May 6, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric