Credit Due Department: Photo atop post by Roland Godefroy – Own work, CC BY 3.0, via Wikipedia
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
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…
From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)
Lyrics 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.
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?’
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.
So would you say as much as you can that you are what you write? That you stand by your songs?
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.
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).