Leonard Cohen Talks About Courtly Love Negatively Impacting His Work

I was attracted to that idea [courtly love] and it’s probably responsible for some atrocious work that I committed. We get hung up and fixated on ideas and sometimes they serve as coat hangers but you don’t really want to wear it with the hanger in it. So much of one’s work, I think, has got the hanger in it. In other words, you get hooked on an ideology or mythology, or a slogan or a position. And you kind of stiffen your work with it. That notion that there was a ritualized possibility between men and women that would get you over the obvious menacing and threatening and bewildering aspects of men and women together that a ritual, a courtly ritual could be invented or discerned or uncovered that would enable men and women to approach one another without the static that has reached deafening proportions today.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, interviewed by Cindy Buissaillon for CBC Radio on August 26, 1995. Originally posted April 12, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Explains How Suzanne And Krystal Burgers Led To Him Leaving Tennessee


The girl I was with was what destroyed it [life in Franklin Tennessee], because she developed this obsession with Krystal burgers. I mean it got to be a serious problem.  She refused to cook, so we’d have to go in every day (20 miles) to eat cheeseburgers, and it just destroyed the whole isolation — Suzanne.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen, explaining why he left Franklin,Tennessee in Leonard Lately – A Leonard Cohen interview-article by Bill Conrad. Posted May 7, 2012 at No Depression. Note: Although not published until 2012, the article is based on an interview that took place in autumn 1976.

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Credit Due Department: Photo by Nathan Eror from Houston, TX, USA – Breakfast, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikipedia Commons. Originally posted June 14, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Gives Up Asking “What Do Women Want?” & Decides “To Utterly And Absolutely Surrender”

You know,  for a long time men have been asking the question, ‘What do women want?’ I asked it a couple of times myself, but I finally gave up asking this question. And I have decided to utterly and absolutely surrender. I am ready to do anything for a woman’s favor. I am ready to surrender totally and absolutely. I put it on the line right now! I give up!quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen’s introduction to “I’m Your Man” at the April 28, 1988 concert at Jaahalli Helsinki, Finland; Originally posted October 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“We do everything for love.” Leonard Cohen


Yeats’s father said poetry is the social act of a solitary man – we all find ways of bridging that isolation. For writers it is words, but for the cabinet-maker it is the presentation of the finished bureau. I don’t think the act of writing is especially significant. I think a man or woman lays their work at the foot of their beloved. We do everything for love.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From A Life In The Day Of Leonard Cohen Interview By Nigel Williamson. The Sunday Times Magazine (London), 1997 (no longer online). Originally posted Dec 22, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“This confrontation [between men & women] involves some serious risks to the versions of oneself ” Leonard Cohen

We’re [men and women are] all in the same boat, we’ve entered into this quarrel, into this cage, union, and extremely ambiguous circumstance together and we’re going to sort it out together. That is why I never thought of myself as a romantic poet because I always was very clear from the beginning that this confrontation involves some serious risks to the versions of oneself … And it’s always been confrontational. Not in an aggressive sense but in an acknowledging sense that there are some profound differences and it involves serious risks and that these risks are really best acknowledged. And I think that’s the tone of most of the stuff and if the love and passion can transgress that mutual acknowledgement then you do have something that takes off, either it’s a song or a poem or the moment. But without that, you’ve got the moon-in-June school of writing–though my stuff gets close to the moon-in-June school of writing, but I think it’s that acknowledgement of the risk that rescues it every time.quotedown2


From Leonard Cohen by Barbara Gowdy (November 19, 1992 interview published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, ed. Leanna Crouch,  Somerville House Publishing 1994).

Note: Originally posted August 2, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric