Leonard Cohen elaborates on “You have loved enough, now let me be the lover”

‘You have loved enough, now let me be the lover.’ You could say that God is speaking to you – or the cosmos, or your lover. It just means, like, forget it. Lean back and be loved by all that is already loving you. It is your effort at love that is preventing you from experiencing it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From “Leonard Cohen’s Thoughts On You Have Loved Enough,” a Ten New Songs promotional video at LeonardCohen.com (no longer online). The poem on which this song was based follows:

I came to You with sorrow.
You said,”Come to me with bread.”
I could not make a living
You employed me with the dead.

I chose the marble chambers.
But You sent me down below.
You kept me from believing
Until You let me know:

That I am not the one who loves
It’s Love that seizes me!
When hatred with his package comes,
You forbid delivery.

And when the hunger for Your touch
rises from the hunger,
You whisper, “Child ,you’ve loved enough,
now let Me be the Lover”.



Credit Due Department: Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who identified the source of this quotation.

Leonard Cohen Poem “Moving Into A Period” Quoted In What Happens After Trump?

bklongThe email I revived from Leonard Cohen alerting me to this item contained a technical abnormality so I wrote back to assure it was actually from him. He confirmed he had sent it and added, “I thought it was an interesting item. Nobody ever quoted from that poem before.”

The pertinent excerpt is from What happens after Trump? by Bernie Quigley (The Hill: March 15, 2016):

What Trump portends is yet beyond our seeing. Maybe it is harbinger to that time poet Leonard Cohen prophesied in “Book of Longing”: “The public yearning for Order will invite many stubborn uncompromising persons to impose it. The sadness of the zoo will fall upon society.”quotedown2



The poem referenced is “Moving Into A Period” from Book of Longing (2006) by Leonard Cohen:

We are moving into a period of bewilderment, a curious moment in which people find light in the midst of despair, and vertigo at the summit of their hopes. It is a religious moment also, and here is the danger. People will want to obey the voice of Authority, and many strange constructs of just what Authority is will arise in every mind. The family will appear again as the Foundation, much honoured, much praised, but those of us who have been pierced by other possibilities, we will merely go through the motions, albeit the motions of love. The public yearning for Order will invite many stubborn uncompromising persons to impose it. The sadness of the zoo will fall upon society.

You and I, who yearn for blameless intimacy, we will be unwilling to speak even the first words of inquisitive delight, for fear of reprisals. Everything desperate will live behind a joke. But I swear that I will stand within the range of your perfume.

How severe seems the moon tonight, like the face of an Iron Maiden, instead of the usual indistinct idiot.

If you think Freud is dishonoured now, and Einstein, and Hemingway, just wait and see what is to be done with all that white hair, by those who come after me.

But there will be a Cross, a sign, that some will understand; a secret meeting, a warning, a Jerusalem hidden in Jerusalem. I will be wearing white clothes, as usual, and I will enter The Innermost Place as I have done generation upon generation, to entreat, to plead, to justify. I will enter the chamber of the Bride and Bridegroom, and no one will follow me.

Have no doubt, in the near future we will be seeing and hearing much more of this sort of thing from people like myself.

DrHGuy Note: The poem is indeed rarely quoted. A search this morning turned up only one other quotation from “Moving Into A Period” (other than in articles about Leonard Cohen such as reviews of Book Of Longing and a 2014 Words By Leonard Cohen DrHGuy.com post): editorial – rt82 (RealTime Arts Magazine #82: Dec-Jan 2007)

Credit Due Department: Unified Heart symbol atop this post found on same page of Book Of Longing as “Moving Into A Period,”

Leonard Cohen Selects & Comments On His Favorite Of His Own Poems


Back Cover: The Spice-Box Of Earth (1973 edition)

Leonard Cohen was a contributor to Poet’s Choice edited by Paul Engle and Joseph Langland. (New York: The Dial, 1962). The premise of the book is revealed in its subtitle: “103 of the Greatest Living Poets Choose Their Favorite Poem from Their Own Work and Give the Reason for Their Choice.”

Leonard Cohen’s choice and comment follows:

For Anne
From The Spice-Box of Earth by Leonard Cohen

With Annie gone
Whose eyes to compare
With the morning sun?

Not that I did compare,
But I do compare
Now that she’s gone.

I want to write and read poems filled with terror and music that change laws and lives. This isn’t one of them. But it has stuck with me long enough, like a lucky stone, to suggest that it’s true.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Video: Leonard Cohen Recites On Sighting The Perfect Ass & Other Poems – Glasgow 1976


Leonard Cohen Concert Poster (Munich – 5/8/1976)

Note: Originally posted Dec 27, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The 1976 Leonard Cohen Glasgow Poetry Reading

True to his 1976 concert posters proclaiming him the “Poet Of Rock Music,” Leonard Cohen not only sang but also routinely read his own poetry at these shows early in his career as a singer-songwriter. At the  May 15, 1976 concert at the Apollo in Glasgow, Scotland, the pertinent selections, according to the set list from LeonardCohenLive, were

11. I did not know until you walked away… ( poem )
12. Come down to my room… ( poem )
13. A person who eats meat ( poem )
14. Valentina gave me four months… ( poem )
15. I know there is no such thing as hell or heaven… ( poem )
16. the 15-year old girls… ( poem )
17. The Music Crept by Us ( poem )
18. It’s Good to Sit with People… ( poem )

LeonardCohenLive also notes that these are “the only known renditions of the poems Valentina gave me four months… and I know there is no such thing as hell or heaven… both from “The Energy of Slaves.”

It’s in #11, BTW, that Cohen declares “It was only when you walked away I saw you had the perfect ass. Forgive me for not falling in love with your face or your conversation.”

Leonard Cohen On Sighting The Perfect Ass & Other Poems
Video by Allan Showalter

Leonard Cohen Talks About His Poem – “The Correct Attitude”

The Correct Attitude
By Leonard Cohen

Except for a couple of hours
in the morning
which I passed in the company
of a sage
I stayed in bed
without food
only a few mouthfuls of water
“you are a fine looking old man”
I said to myself in the mirror
“and what is more
you have the correct attitude
You don’t care if it ends
or if it goes on
And as for the women
and the music
there will be plenty of that
in Paradise”
Then I went to the Mosque
of Memory
to express my gratitude

The following excerpt from Stina Lundberg’s Leonard Cohen Interview in Paris, 2001((This content is also available in the video: Interview with Stina Dabrowski: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3)) refers to “The Correct Attitude,” which Cohen wrote in 2000 while residing at the Mount Baldy Zen Center.1  It was later published in the Book Of Longing.

LC: Haven’t read that since I wrote it!

SL: Is that true, or is it – ?

LC: It’s just a joke, you know. It’s all just a joke.

SL: But do you have the correct attitude? Do you care if it ends or if it goes on?

LC: (long pause) Not really. (longer pause, gazing at Stina) Do you?

SL: Sometimes I don’t, sometimes I do.

LC: Yeah, well, that’s it. I think your answer is better.

SL: But it’s not interesting.

LC: Yeah, it is.

SL: So when you were a little kid…

LC: It takes two people to answer that question.

SL: So when you were little, were you more known as a funny little bloke or were you this serious little chap?

LC: I don’t know… the epoch, the era, the time that I grew up, psychological profiles were not fashionable. You just followed orders, more or less, and whatever you could do on the sly you did. But it was a pretty disciplined kind of existence when I was a kid. There wasn’t the kind of youth rebellion that we see today, and authority and parental control were very strong, and nobody cared what your inner condition was as long as your shoes were underneath your bed in the right way… yeah. No, we weren’t close to our parents, we didn’t really discuss our inner condition with our parents. It was a very wise kind of upbringing, it didn’t invite self-indulgence.

SL: But you learned discipline?

LC: Er – you learned good manners, you know, which is better than discipline.

Note: Originally posted February 11, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric; updated for this republication.


  1. Source: LeonardCohenFiles []

It’s A Leonard Cohen Halloween: “I perceived the outline of your breasts through your Hallowe’en costume”

I perceived the outline of your breasts
through your Hallowe’en costume
I knew you were falling in love with me
because no other man could perceive
the advance of your bosom into his imagination
It was a rupture of your unusual modesty
for me and me alone
through which you impressed upon my shapeless hunger
the incomparable and final outline of your breasts
like two deep fossil shells
which remained all night long and probably forever

Poem 17 from “The Energy of Slaves” by Leonard Cohen

Note: Originally posted October 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric