A Fairy Tale About Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne”

I’m a fairy. This is my tale. It’s a tale about love and loss, and what comes after. Poetry plays a part. Not all the characters are beautiful. Just so you know… My job is to encourage hesitant lovers to take the risk. Get the phone number and call it (after a few days, so you don’t seem overeager). Go in for the kiss (if you’re sure it’s wanted, probably better to ask first).

Fairies don’t have sex, but we desire everyone, no matter gender or race or age. We see you, all of you, too entirely to stop at your surfaces, whatever they may be. That doesn’t mean we don’t have favorites. Go ahead, you try to unequivocally love every living person.

I’d been delegated, since I was a sprite, to Montreal. My last assignment there: Canadian poet, closer to 30 than 20, lonely and unknown even by poets’ standards, and a 20-ish woman, a dancer, so beautiful as to have learned that beauty is a gift and also a burden. She was tired of dating men who didn’t know her and didn’t really care to, who wanted to be the guy dating the beautiful young woman who’s an artist, yeah she does these interpretive dances in little clubs, which is not, you know, my kind of thing, but my God, look at her …

From The Imagined Story Behind Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’ by Michael Cunningham (New York Times Style Magazine: Nov 2, 2018)

One Reply to “A Fairy Tale About Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne””

  1. Jane Keeler

    Allan, Thank you for taking the time and effort to sell me any good examples of Leonard Cohen’s work and those who honoured it. It is a major achievement to create this site for several years and share it with us. I am now going to take the time to fully explore it as late as it may be!