Leonard Cohen invokes Yeats on aging: “‘A foolish passion in an old man,’ that’s not a bad calling…”

What Yeats said about ‘a foolish passion in an old man,’ that’s not a bad calling. To stay alive in the heart and the spine and the genitals, to be sensitive to these delicious movements, is not a bad way to go.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993

DrHGuy Note: Leonard Cohen’s Yeats reference appears to be to the final line of A Prayer For Old Age by William Butler Yeats:

God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone;

From all that makes a wise old man
That can be praised of all;
O what am I that I should not seem
For the song’s sake a fool?

I pray—for word is out
And prayer comes round again—
That I may seem, though I die old,
A foolish, passionate man.

Note: Originally posted Jan 2, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric