When an experience is embracing or total you don’t know who you are. When you jump into a pool of really cold water, when you hit that water there’s no you. [Interviewer: How often is your writing a dive into cold water?] From time to time. There is no explanation for it. It’s free from an explanation. It’s like explaining the kiss you give your wife. you can explain it from a sociological point of view, from an erotic point of view, from all kinds of points of view. but it really doesn’t have anything to do with that moment of the embrace. You can speak about it, but it’s just a kind of gossip. When you’re writing out of the total embrace of the experience of the emotion of the moment, what comes out of there is really authentic. People ask what does that song, ‘Suzanne,’ really mean? The people who lay back and are ravished by the song know exactly what it means.
From Interview / Leonard Cohen By Alan Twigg. Essay Date: 1979, 1984, 1985. ABC Bookworld.