“My songs are poems with a guitar behind them” Leonard Cohen 1968

From Leonard Cohen by Ray Connolly. Evening Standard, July 1968

Credit Due Department: Photo from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, ASC01709. I was alerted to this article by a post at  I Need A Regular Dose Of Leonard Cohen written by Gordana Stupar Originally posted June 4, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on writing songs after his depression lifted: “The work isn’t easier. You know, lifting boulders isn’t easier when you’re in a good mood.”

State of Grace by Doug Saunders. Globe and Mail: Sept 1, 2001. Originally posted June 17, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Songwriting: “The thing that we’re hungry for cannot be described by a political position right now…”


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The thing that we’re hungry for cannot be described by a political position right now. There is some kind of moral resurrection that people from all positions on the spectrum can participate in. I don’t want my songs to be slogans for the Right, Left or middle. I want it to be a cry defined in very concrete images.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen and the Death of Cool By David Sprague. Your Flesh magazine: 1992. Originally posted April 5, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Invokes Irving Layton’s Dictum: “Whatever else, poetry is freedom”

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Q: What is your opinion on the proposition that ‘the visions of poets may teach those who do not want to know it that there is more in shadow than in light?’

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I don’t think the poet has a mission. I think that activity more appropriately applies to the priest, the teacher, the politician, and the warrior. As my friend Layton wrote: ‘Whatever else, poetry is freedom.’ It seems a very aggressive proposition to teach someone something they don’t want to learn.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From a 2001 online chat. Photo of Leonard Cohen by Roland Godefroy (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Originally posted March 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Songwriting: “There is only one way you can really speak. And it can drive you mad if you’re not speaking in your own voice”

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Well, you do find that there is only one way you can really speak. And it can drive you mad if you’re not speaking in your own voice. So, for example, a song like ‘I Can’t Forget’ – that started off as a religious hymn about the liberation of the soul. The metaphor was the exodus of the Hebrew children from the land of Egypt. I’d worked on the lyric over a number of years – but when I tried to sing the lyric I choked on it. It was a total lie in my mouth, because the theme was too ambitious. I don’t know anything about the liberation of the soul in that sense; it wasn’t true so I couldn’t sing it. So I had to get right back to zero and that is where the language on this album really began to gel. I started again at the bottom line: I stumbled out of bed – that was true. I got ready for the struggle – that is true. And now I am addressing that eternal struggle this way.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016).  Photo by Gorupdebesanez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons