“I’m very slow…” Leonard Cohen Talks About His Songwriting

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I’m very slow [writing songs]. It comes kind of by dribbles and drops. Some people are graced with a flow; some people are graced with something less than a flow. I’m one of those … The fact that my songs take a long time to write is no guarantee of their excellence.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Corrects Himself: ‘I Intend to Stick Around Until 120’ by Chris Willman (Billboard: Oct 14, 2016). Originally posted Oct 15, 2016 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Hydra] is a good place to work because there’s no reason to delay it to the next day: there is no phone or even electricity. There is a real civilization, by which I mean hospitality, kindness in the streets, and people blessing children.” Leonard Cohen (1976)

Do you think that your stay in Greece will affect your work habit?

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I’m doing a lot of work there. It’s a good place to work because there’s no reason to delay it to the next day: there is no phone or even electricity. There is a real civilization, by which I mean hospitality, kindness in the streets, and people blessing children. I live in a small village – I know people who believe I own an island and a great palace, but the truth is the perfect opposite.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016). Via computer translation. Photo of Hydra by Marie-louise Guillard.

“The writer is ambivalent by nature. That’s who we are… Our interest in things was never real. It wasn’t genuine, or wholehearted. We were mostly interested in life as material for the line, the verse, the story.” Leonard Cohen

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The writer is ambivalent by nature. That’s who we are… We’re ambivalent about everything… Our interest in things was never real. It wasn’t genuine, or wholehearted. We were mostly interested in life as material for the line, the verse, the story. Unfortunately, that didn’t keep us from running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to feel a little better, looking for a buzz. Anything to escape the anguish.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Matters Of Vital Interest by Eric Lerner. A review of this book can be found at The Leonard Cohen Tell All Koan – Matters Of Vital Interest By Eric Lerner. Photo by Eric Lerner.

“When you jump into a pool of water you don’t hit that water as a man or a woman you hit it as shock; that is the central reality I was talking about.” Leonard Cohen

leonard cohen

Does Cohen try to try to write from a point which is neither masculine nor feminine, yet is both?

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Well, you’ve got to move between these two points and take the residue of each point back to the others. If you never experience yourself as neither man nor woman or, for that matter, as neither fish nor any form of creature, then eventually you are going to get bored being just a man. When you jump into a pool of water you don’t hit that water as a man or a woman you hit it as shock; that is the central reality I was talking about back thenquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016). Photo by Gorupdebesanez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons