“[A song is] designed to move swiftly from…mouth to mouth, heart to heart, where a poem really speaks to something that has no time.” Leonard Cohen


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A poem has a certain — a different time. For instance, a poem is a very private experience, and it doesn’t have a driving tempo. In other words, you know, you can go back and forward; you can come back; you can linger. You know, it’s a completely different time reference. Whereas a song, you know, you’ve got a tempo. You know, you’ve got something that is moving swiftly. You can’t stop it, you know? And it’s designed to move swiftly from, you know, mouth to mouth, heart to heart, where a poem really speaks to something that has no time and that is — it’s a completely different perception.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Songwriter Leonard Cohen Discusses Fame, Poetry and Getting Older by Jeffrey Brown. PBS: Broadcast June 28, 2006. Originally posted July 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Q: Do you have any problems reconciling your poetry writing and your songwriting? Leonard Cohen: “I always heard a huge, invisible guitar behind everything I do”

Do you have any problems reconciling your poetry writing and your songwriting?

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No, I think I always heard a huge, invisible guitar behind everything I do. There’s really no conflict in writing novels and writing songs. In fact, once you set up your desk and you find yourself in a kind of introspective mood, all kinds of things arise.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From transcript of a radio program broadcast in Sydney, Australia by ABC in March 1980. Photo by Armando Fusco. Originally posted June 24, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on Writing (& Writers) “The process is really more like a bear stumbling into a beehive…”

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For me, the process [writing] is really more like a bear stumbling into a beehive or a honey cache: I’m stumbling right into it and getting stuck, and it’s delicious and it’s horrible and I’m in it and it’s not very graceful and it’s very awkward and it’s very painful and yet there’s something inevitable about it… [Most of the writers I admire] are just incredible messes as human beings. Wonderful and invigorating company, but I pity their wives and their husbands and their children. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Listening to Leonard Cohen by Pico Iyer. Shambhala Sun: November/December 1998. Found at Utne Reader. Originally posted April 12, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s where the light gets in.’ That’s the closest thing I could describe to a credo.” Leonard Cohen

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‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s where the light gets in.’ That’s the closest thing I could describe to a credo. That idea is one of the foundations, one of the fundamental positions behind a lot of the songs.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Photo by Ted McDonnell.

“These times are very difficult to write in because the slogans are jamming the airwaves…It’s a kind of tyranny of posture.” Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: Geneva - Oct 27, 2008

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These times are very difficult to write in because the slogans are really jamming the airwaves – it’s something that goes beyond what has been called political correctness. It’s a kind of tyranny of posture. Those ideas are swarming through the air like locusts. And it’s difficult for the writer to determine what he really thinks about thingsquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ‘I’m blessed with a certain amnesia’ by Jian Ghomeshi (The Guardian: 9 July 2009). Photo by Rama (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric