Leonard Cohen, Kim Solez, The Banff Classification For Renal Transplant Biopsies, & Treaty Lyrics

Introduction by DrHgGuy:  Leonard Cohen has incorporated into his work images and phrases from a panoply of sources, including but certainly not limited to

Kim Solez1 posits that a discussion he had with Leonard about the international classification for renal transplant biopsies may have contributed to the first draft of what later became the song Treaty.

At Leonard Cohen’s Kitchen Table
By Kim Solez

In November 2005, I met with Leonard at his home in Montreal for a three day weekend during which we discussed at length standard-setting in medicine and the controversy over the status of borderline changes in the Banff classification for renal transplant biopsies.

At the Nov 6, 2017 Montreal Tower Of Song Tribute Concert, I opened the program to find pages from Leonard’s notebook indicating that nine months later at the same kitchen table where our conversations took place, Leonard wrote the first draft of Treaty in which the word ‘borderline” appears five times. I explain further in this video.


“Living Life With Microscopic Precision”

Also, in 2006 when Leonard accepted induction into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame he mentioned “living life with microscopic precision,” a phrase from our conversations together in November 2005 when we talked about the profession of pathology.


  1. Kim Solez, MD, is President of the Cohennights Arts Society and lead organizer of the Leonard Cohen International Festival.  He is also a pathologist and co-founder of the Banff Classification, the first standardized international classification for renal transplant biopsies. []