“We [Canadians] grow up on the edge of America and we watch America the way that women watch men: very, very carefully.” Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
Canadians are very involved in their country. We grow up on the edge of America and we watch America the way that women watch men: very, very carefully. So when there is this continual cultural challenge right on the edge of your lives, of course it develops a sense of solidarity. So, yes, it is a very important element in my life.”quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: ‘I’m a closet optimist’ [a report on the Sept 16, 2014 London Press Preview Of Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems] by Andy Morris. Gigwise, Sept 16, 2014.

“I think there should be four [Canadian] flags, one for every season… Family rituals could be built around changing the flag.” Leonard Cohen

Meanwhile, Cohen still keeps up with the Canadian scene. He says that he tried to follow the referendum debate but found it bewildering and arcane. Reviving the flag debate would be a better alternative, he playfully suggests. “I think there should be four flags, one for every season: a very small maple leaf for spring, sort of yellowish green, a big green leaf for summer, a red one for fall, and just a white outline of a leaf for winter.” He added: “Family rituals could be built around changing the flag.”

Life Of A Lady’s Man by Brian D. Johnson. Maclean’s: Dec 7, 1992. The image atop this post is the summer flag Leonard suggested as I’ve imagined it. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

“America is a great, vast, bewildering, indescribable human experiment” Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
I like to feel like an Indian – they don’t have to respect that border [between Canada and the United States]. America is a great, vast, bewildering, indescribable human experiment, and I don’t want to lose touch with what’s going on there…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen: Thoughts Of A Ladies’ Man by Elizabeth M. Thomson. 1979 interview reposted to FolkTracks: Jan 12, 2017.

“And it’s not even Canada, it’s Montreal. Not even Montreal, it’s a few streets: Belmont and Vendôme. It was wonderful.” Leonard Cohen On His Homeland


quoteup2
It’s my native land, my homeland, all the feelings one feels for one’s homeland . . . very tender feelings about it. I don’t like hearing it being criticized. I like to hear it praised. I return often and I live there part of every year. It’s the last home I’ve had. And the next home, too. I think we’re very lucky it’s not a first-rate power and that it’s … I don’t know, it’s my homeland, what can I say? And it’s not even Canada, it’s Montreal. Not even Montreal, it’s a few streets: Belmont and Vendôme. It was wonderful.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Famous last words from Leonard Cohen by Paul Saltzman (Macleans: June 10, 1972). Photo of Belmont Avenue from Google Maps.

More About Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

The best articles about Leonard Cohen’s Montreal homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent landmarks can be found at Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal.

Leonard Cohen On The French Canadian Separatist Movement, Communism, & America (1974)

What are your feelings now about the French Canadian separatist movement?

quoteup2
There has clearly been a victory for the French Canadian spirit. Whether it manifests itself exactly in a separate state or in an associate state, or just in a psychic differentiation is quite irrelevant. The fact is that the French Canadian spirit has triumphed in Québec. There’s nobody that seriously contests the idea that this is a French state of some kind. But also, certain of my political opinions in the past have been anti-leftist, anti-communist, which stopped me from really throwing myself in against the Vietnamese war. Because I thought that the communists were using this battle to weaken America and to destroy American youth and to destroy the American army. I still do feel that way. I feel that America suffered a terrible defeat. I do feel the youth has been brainwashed by the communists, and poisoned both spiritually and physically as part of the communist conspiracy. I think we have been defeated in a war, and I think America’s been disarmed. I think it’s very weak, and I think a country without an army is in a very dangerous position. I think there are lots of people waiting to carve America up, psychically or actually.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. Dec 5, 1974.

Credit Due Department: This outstanding interview was discovered and contributed by Jugurtha Harchaoui.