“Nobody is the master of his heart” Leonard Cohen On Never Any Good

I was pretty good at taking out
the garbage
Pretty good at holding up the wall
Dealing with the fire and the earthquake
But that don’t count
That don’t count
That don’t count for nothing much at all

From Never Any Good by Leonard Cohen

[In Never Any Good] You doubted you, your actions, your talent, as if it were a second nature. Why? To be “Humbled in love?” And there is also the poem “Better”1  … Finally, do you always think “never any good” or are you “better?”

But in these cases, these matters of heart, there are no masters. Nobody is the master of his heart.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Meeting with Leonard Cohen – Interview by Albert Labbouz  Translation and adaptation: Dr. Marc Gaffié (Patrice Clos: “Throughout the conversation, Leonard spoke mainly in French but also in English. It is this synthesis of the two languages ​​that was absolutely necessary.”) Paris, June 29, 2001. Published in French; this excerpt via Google Translate.


  1. Better, a poem from Book Of Longing, can be found at LeonardCohenFiles. []