Video: Hear Leonard Cohen Recite “Thousands” & “Mission” From Book Of Longing

booklonginxgThis audio-only video features Leonard Cohen reciting two short, lapidary poems, “Thousands” & “Mission,” from his Book of Longing.

Leonard Cohen Recites “Thousands” & “Mission”
From Book of Longing (2006)
Video by Allan Showalter


Lyrics: Thousands and Mission

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Enlisting Leonard Cohen & Henri Matisse In The Wooing Of The Duchess

dancexme-kissesNote: Originally posted Aug 21, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The First Gift To A Lover

Choosing the first gift in a courtship  can be a tricky affair.  Early in a relationship, those involved often lack sufficient knowledge of each other’s preferences, loathings, and interests to venture beyond cliched tokens such as flowers or chocolates.

Once, however, I introduced Duchess of Durham1 to the music and poems of Leonard Cohen and she had responded with enthusiastic interest – especially to Dance Me To The End Of Love – the  perfect present – uh, presented itself.


Dance Me to the End of Love is described by its publishers, Welcome Books,2 as “a deliriously romantic song by Leonard Cohen that was brilliantly visualized through the sensual paintings of Henri Matisse.”

Leonard Cohen’s perception of a special connection with Matisse3 is made manifest in the fit of his lyrics to the paintings.

Dance Me to the End of Love was – and continues to be – one of the Duchess’s most treasured gifts and certainly appears to have enhanced my campaign to win her heart. Sharing a couple of her favorite images from the book seems an appropriate celebration of our upcoming nuptials.





  1. Those unfamiliar with the DrHGuy – Duchess of Durham relationship can catch up on the basics at DrHGuy & Duchess Dancing To The End Of Love []
  2. Welcome Books is the publisher of several analogous books in its Art & Poetry Series. []
  3. “[Adam] Cohen said his father is a huge fan of French artist Henri Matisse” from Sketches by Leonard Cohen exhibited at Montreal High Lights Festival by Nelson Wyatt. The Canadian Press, February 19, 2010 []

The Never Mind Variations: 2005 & 2006 Versions Of Leonard Cohen’s Poem


Gisa from Berlin, Germany points out that before Leonard Cohen’s Nevermind was a track on the Popular Problems album and before it appeared in changing versions as the theme song of True Detective (see The Nevermind Variations: 3 Episodes, 3 Versions Of True Detective’s Theme Song By Leonard Cohen), Never Mind was a Leonard Cohen poem, an early draft of which was first posted at LeonardCohenFiles in 2005 and a final rendering of which was published in The Book Of Longing (2006).


Video: “Greece is a good place to look at the moon, isn’t it” – Leonard Cohen Recites Days Of Kindness

terrxace Leonard Cohen Recites Days Of Kindness

Days Of Kindness
By Leonard Cohen

Greece is a good place
to look at the moon, isn’t it
You can read by moonlight
You can read on the terrace
You can see a face
as you saw it when you were young
There was good light then
oil lamps and candles
and those little flames
that floated on a cork in olive oil
What I loved in my old life
I haven’t forgotten
It lives in my spine
Marianne and the child
The days of kindness
It rises in my spine
and it manifests as tears
I pray that loving memory
exists for them too
the precious ones I overthrew
for an education in the world

Hydra, 1985