“I try to make my songs as exact as I can. Sometimes I have the feeling that I am painting with an eyelash.” Leonard Cohen

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I try to make my songs as exact as I can. Sometimes I have the feeling that I am painting with an eyelash. I think of myself as a journalist and my job is to report the news. I write the stories I see around me. I do not try to analyze society nor penetrate some geopolitical vision. But I react to things like everyone else and my songs are an expression of my reactions.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: “We are instruments of a will that is not our own.” by Jordi Saládrigas. ABC, Sunday Supplement: July 22, 2001. Photo by Paul Zollo. Originally posted July 14, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Excellence Is The Only Standard …” Leonard Cohen

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I think that excellence is the only standard [for artists]. There’s all kinds of other matters like making a living & freedom from having to satisfy whatever regulations pertain to the artistic circle, which are often very tyrannical. I never felt my work needed any label or refuge.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: Working for the World to Come. The interview (probably from 1982) was published in the book In Their Own Words: Interviews with fourteen Canadian writers, by Bruce Mayer and Brian O’Riordan, 1984. Found at LeonardCohenfiles. Originally posted Dec 16, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“We do everything for love.” Leonard Cohen

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Yeats’s father said poetry is the social act of a solitary man – we all find ways of bridging that isolation. For writers it is words, but for the cabinet-maker it is the presentation of the finished bureau. I don’t think the act of writing is especially significant. I think a man or woman lays their work at the foot of their beloved. We do everything for love.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From A Life In The Day Of Leonard Cohen Interview By Nigel Williamson. The Sunday Times Magazine (London), 1997 (no longer online). Originally posted Dec 22, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The working, the practical aspects of poetry occur in a secret room behind a veil. It’s the real furnace of language.” Leonard Cohen

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In my opinion, it’s very good that songs in general take much energy, while poetry stands there, pure poetry. It’s a very good thing that poetry is not popular. It’s marvelous to renew language with secret work, not popular work. It’s very important to keep that difference between songs and poetry. Songs are wonderful, there is poetry in them. Poetry contains the song’s spirit. But the working, the practical aspects of poetry occur in a secret room behind a veil. It’s the real furnace of language.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Le Cercle de Minuit – Michel Field, Interviewer. Broadcast by France 2: December 1992. Originally posted Apr 27, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on Suzanne “It was never about a particular woman…it was more about the beginning of a different life for me. My life in Montreal”

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It was never about a particular woman. For me it was more about the beginning of a different life for me. My life in Montreal, and my life wandering alone in those parts of Montreal that are now very beautifully done up and in those days, it was the waterfront. I used to wander around down there and I used to go to that church a lot.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Cohen Wore Earplugs to a Dylan Show? by Brian D. Johnson, Maclean’s: June 12, 2008. Photo of Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, better known as the Church where “the sun pours down like honey, On our lady of the harbour.”  See Our Lady Of The Harbour – The Montreal Church Embedded In Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne

Leonard Cohen on Boogie Street as “ordinary human struggle and life”

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Bugis Street, Singapore, referenced in Boogie Street by Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson

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[Boogie Street is] ordinary human struggle and life, the place of work and desire. It’s where we’re meant to be, it’s what we’re born into. There are moments when the burden of the self is lifted, but those are only temporary situations. As I say in the song, ‘You kiss my lips and then it’s done/I’m back on Boogie Street.’ Whatever the experience is — the god, the woman, the insight, the epiphany, the penetration — those are temporary events. Or as my old teacher says, ‘You can’t live in Paradise — no toilets or restaurants.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Angst & Aquavit by Brendan Bernhard. LA Weekly: September 26, 2001. Photo atop post by Jfkjaya. – Own work., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons