From Leonard Cohen’s Apr 22, 1964 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 living in Montreal, and Wallis was at his home on Hydra. This letter is archived at the National Library of New Zealand – Wellington, Originally posted September 9, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Jennifer Warnes: I phoned Leonard on the day that my mother – who in many ways was my ‘significant other’ – died. ‘Was that somehow strange, devoting one’s life to one’s mother?’ I asked. His response was impeccable
Never question where love comes from. We have no control over these things. From a stranger, a mother, a dog, or that perfect mate, it comes from wherever it comes. You were lucky, in fact – everyone hopes to find love in the place that you found it.
Leonard Cohen, quoted by Jennifer Warnes in Leonard Cohen – as remembered by Jennifer Warnes by Marcus Webb (Slow Journalism: 7 November 2016).
I have to go back to the word ‘relationship’ you just mentioned. In my opinion, this expression has a threatening, almost sinister taste. Everyone working on their relationships, always discussing them, that can certainly cause only grief. What we two [Anjani Thomas & I] have, is better – there is no word for it.
From Mit Gedächtnisschwund kommt man schon sehr weit by Von Johannes Wächter. Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin: Issue 17: 2007, an interview with Leonard Cohen & Anjani Thomas about their connection. Quote via Google Translate. Photo by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted April 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
It has fathers and sons in it and sacrifice and slaughter, and an extremely honest statement at the end. It does say something about fathers and sons and that curious place, generally over the slaughtering block where generations meet and have their intercourse. I think probably that I did feel [when I wrote it] that one of the reasons that we have wars was so the older men can kill off the younger ones, so there’s no competition for the women. Also, completely remove the competition in terms of their own institutional positions. The song doesn’t end with a plea for peace. It doesn’t end with a plea for sanity between the generations. It ends saying, ‘I’ll kill you if I can, I will help you if I must, I will kill you if I must, I will help you if I can.’ That’s all I can say about it. My father died when I was nine, that’s the reason I put that one of us had to go.
Interview,by Robin Pike. ZigZag: October 1974. Image by Ji-Elle – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons
From Exquisite, Unembarrassed and Undestroyed, Leonard Cohen at 71 by Greg Burk (LA Weekly, June 28 2006). Originally posted December 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
I think our content is women and we are women’s content. I know that my mind, my emotions are involved with a woman. Sometimes when I’m feeling strong, which is rare, I can get beyond that concern. But most of the time, what I care most about is whether or not I’m being welcomed by her and I think a lot of the time she worries about whether she is being welcomed by me. So we are each other’s content and we exist in that condition, which goes all the way from grave discomfort to absolute peace and everything in between. That seems to be what the activity between a man and a woman is.
From Leonard Cohen: A Portrait in First Person. Interviewer: Moses Znaimer. CBC, 1988. Note: Originally posted uly 5, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric