“There are some things that are designed to rest on the page and not be spoken” Leonard Cohen On Sexualized Language In His Poems

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What I’d really like to know is why your poetry is so stark, so incredibly blunt – a poem like for instance …

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I like that poem… If it didn’t have the word ‘cunt’ in it I’d probably read it out loud on stage. But I’m not ready to say that word well enough yet. There are some things that are designed to rest on the page and not be spoken…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Note: The word “cunt” appears in at least five poems by Leonard Cohen written before the date of this interview (all published in The Energy of Slaves):

  • This Is the Only Poem
  • I Will Grow Old
  • You Are A Much Finer Person Than I Am
  • Cutting The Hair
  • We Call It Sunlight

Leonard Cohen also discusses the use of “cunt” in his writing at “People should have a kind of nervous reaction to that word. It is one of the sacred words and it deserves to be whispered.” Leonard Cohen On Sexualized Language In His Writing.

Suffering For Fan And Profit – The Return Of Leonard Cohen by Mick Brown. Sounds: July 3, 1976, Accessed 26 April 2014 at LeonardCohenFiles. Photo Credit: Roloff Beny / Library and Archives Canada / PA-196331. Originally posted Apr 26, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.