“Young Canadian women were more realistic than that … Tougher” Leonard Cohen On Poetry As An Inefficient “Instrument Of Seduction”

Interviewer: Was poetry also a way for you to approach girls more easily?

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Oh yes. But few women were impressed because poetry wasn’t very prestigious back then. It wasn’t a very efficient instrument of seduction (laughs)…certainly not in the beginning. Young Canadian women were more realistic than that (laughs)… Tougher.
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Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, quoted in Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Throat Culture magazine, 1992). Note: Originally posted August 1, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“There is no escape from loneliness except in yourself…” Leonard Cohen

Interviewer: I have always interpreted the your songs in a pained expressions of loneliness. Do you still feel this kind of pain even though you have found consolation and warmth in Suzanne and your children?

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I think marriage can also create real loneliness. When you get married and live with your wife, you begin to realize that there is no kind of comfort or repentance for inner loneliness. Not in marriage, not in friendships, not in money – nowhere. There you can look for comfort only for yourself and for your own self, and only then will you realize what your real turmoil is. And once you have gone through all this, it should comfort you and make you less lonely and depressed. But then you realize that the same feeling is still there – there is no escape from loneliness except in yourself. You can cling to me and get a lot of strength and comfort, but it will not release you from the pain forever. Life is only to be seen in some places in some places.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.

Credit Due Department: 1974 photo of Leonard Cohen by Emily Bindiger

Leonard Cohen talks about having “exploited relationships”

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Do you ever feel that you have exploited relationships by writing about them?

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That’s the very least way in which I have exploited relationships. If that was the only way I’d exploited a relationship then I’m going straight to heaven. Are you kidding me?quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen: Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? Adrian Deevoy, Q, 1991.

An essay from the subject’s perspective can be accessed at Married To An Author In Search Of A Character

“You need this love to be grounded, until there is no difference between you and your love, or what you love or what you are. It’s just the one thing.” Leonard Cohen


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My old teacher told me that the older you get and the lonelier you get, the deeper is your need for love. Like everyone else, I have looked for such deep love. And as you get older, you need this love to be grounded, until there is no difference between you and your love, or what you love or what you are. It’s just the one thing.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen als Zen-Mönch, a video shot during one of the several visits Leonard Cohen and Roshi made to a Zen Center in Austria from 1990 to 1996. Quotation interpreted and, in part, translated by Rike.

Note: “My old teacher” is Roshi. The words quoted are from a videotaped interview that is overdubbed in German. This quotation as represented comprises Leonard Cohen’s words in English except portions obscured by the overdubbing, in which case a translation of the German overdubbing is used.  In this quotation, for example, the phrase “be grounded” is an English translation of the German narration.

A similar Leonard Cohen quotation can be viewed at Leonard Cohen on being asked “What is the best advice you have ever received?”

“I actually bound myself to the mast of non-attachment, but the storms of desire snapped my bounds like a spoon through noodles” Leonard Cohen

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My songs are kind of bleak, but underlying the whole dismal affair is actually a tiny thread of light. I studied the religious values. I actually bound myself to the mast of non-attachment, but the storms of desire snapped my bounds like a spoon through noodles.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

The latest addition to posts on the theme of comes from Leonard Cohen’s introduction to first 2012 performance of “Ain’t No Cure For Love” – Seattle Nov 9, 2012. Photo of Leonard Cohen performing at the 2012 Seattle show by Mary Witter. Originally posted Feb 14, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“We hypnotize ourselves into a condition of loneliness …” Leonard Cohen On Suffering As A Self-induced Sense Of Separation


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We go into this trance of loneliness. We hypnotize ourselves into a condition of loneliness. Loneliness is just a human idea. It’s just the result of our not being able to connect with the activity around us, to feel that we are different one from another, to feel there is an other. In other words, to go into the trance of subject and object, where you believe you are the subject at the center of the world and everything else is an object, the other person, the other object. You know, you’re here, and everybody else is over there. But there’s another point of view, which is the point of view of the absolute in which the subject and the object have an equal footing – and we are embraced, both subject and object, by this absolute. So, we go into a trance, we enter into a fiction, into a hypnosis where we believe we are separate from everything else. That produces suffering – the sense of separation. And religion is a technique or a device or the experience of others who have found a way to dissolve this fiction of separation from the creative activity all around us.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Press Conference, Reykjavik, 1988. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric