“We are not mad. We are human. We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.” Leonard Cohen

619px-Leonard_Cohen17bFrom Leonard Cohen: Poems and Songs by Leonard Cohen

Credit Due Department: Photo atop post by Roland Godefroy – Own work, CC BY 3.0, via Wikipedia

“The Sorrow In The Street” By Trent Miller Featuring Leonard Cohen’s Democracy Lyrics Printed In Today’s Cap Times

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Joe Way sends this scan of the Cap Times print  publication of Trent Miller’s graphic, which displays lines from Leonard Cohen’s Democracy and was previously posted here Nov 16, 2016

Leonard Cohen On “Insight Into The Sexual Politics Of The Time” In Death Of A Ladies’ Man Lyrics

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I think this [‘The last time that I saw him he was trying hard to get / A woman’s education but he’s not a woman yet’] was quite an insight into the sexual politics of the time, where we started to hear about or see a kind of feminised man. Or a man who could appreciate the woman’s position or could affirm the feminine aspects of his own nature. But despite being filled with good intentions, I am not one who believes in any kind of movement. Maybe it’s just my nasty, cantankerous, argumentative nature, but there is something about these ‘self-improvement’ rackets that turn me off. Like a concept of the ‘feminised’ man – because it suggested that we are going to transcend the dualistic and conflicting nature of life…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)

“I want to serve you baby, but I’ve forgotten how to bend my knee” Leonard Cohen

wingLyrics to an early version of Anthem sung by Leonard Cohen in Exceptional Video: Portrait Of Leonard Cohen – 1992 Interview On Songwriting

Credit Due Department: Thanks to J.J. Harchaoui, who noted that the line correctly reads “I want to serve you baby, but I’ve forgotten how to bend my knee” rather than “I want to serve you baby, but I’ve forgotten how” as initially posted.

Leonard Cohen on the significance of “The Guests”

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Its sensibility is sponsored by the poems of Rumi and Attar, who are Persian poets of the 12th and 13th centuries. I guess it’s a religious song, just about our strangerhood on the Earth and how it’s resolved. ‘One by one, the guests arrive/Guests are coming through/The openhearted many/The brokenhearted few.’ [The guests ask] ‘Where is God? Where is truth? Where is life?’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: Remembering the Life and Legacy of the Poet of Brokenness by Mikal Gilmore (Rolling Stone: 30 November 2016) Note:  The entire article – an excellent read – is available at the link.

“The landmarks are down and the lights have gone out and you’re holding on to your orange crate in the torrent and somebody goes by holding on to his broken flag staff. What is the appropriate behavior in this circumstance?” Leonard Cohen

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Screenshot from video of Barbara Gowdy-Leonard Cohen interview

So would you say as much as you can that you are what you write? That you stand by your songs?

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I would stand by them [my songs]. But I’ve been presenting this rap for a long time, which is a catastrophe has taken place, there’s no point in waiting for it, and somehow in the interior plane or the interior landscape a catastrophe has taken place, there is a flood going on… It’s been going on a a long time–I don’t know when the wave broke the wall. But I do believe we are in this torrent, that the landmarks are down and the lights have gone out and you’re holding on to your orange crate in the torrent and somebody goes by holding on to his broken flag staff. What is the appropriate behavior in this circumstance? Is it to declare yourself a conservative or a liberal or for abortion or against abortion? Those kinds of descriptions seem to be totally irrelevant to the situation. I prefer my descriptions of myself as they have developed over the years in my songs and books. I think that those descriptions are much more appropriate and, yes, I would stand by them.
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Leonard Cohen

 

From TV Interview by Barbara Gowdy. Broadcast Nov 19, 1992 on TVOntario and published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, edited by Leanna Crouch (1994).