“In [The Energy Of Slaves] I say that I’m in pain. I don’t say it in those words because I don’t like those words. They don’t represent the real situation.” Leonard Cohen


quoteup2
I’ve just written a book called The Energy Of Slaves, and in there I say that I’m in pain. I don’t say it in those words because I don’t like those words. They don’t represent the real situation. It took 80 poems to represent the situation of where I am right now. That to me totally acquits me of any responsibility I have of keeping a record public. I put it in the book. It’s carefully worked on, you know. It’s taken many years to write and it’s there. It’ll be between hard covers and it’ll be there for as long as people want to keep it in circulation. It’s careful and controlled and it’s what we call art… It’s my work, that’s all. And part of the nature of my work is to reach people. I mean I’m not very interested in playing to empty halls. My work is to make songs and poems and I use whatever material I have at hand. I don’t have the luxury of a vast range of material. I’m not entirely happy with the subject matter. I’d like to broaden my subject matter but as it is right now I only work with what is given. I am interested in this book’s reception. I’m interested in how it will be received almost more than any other book, because I have the feeling that by making it public I may be making a mistake. I hope that I will find that this gnawing feeling is wrong or that I have misread it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Famous last words from Leonard Cohen by Paul Saltzman (Macleans: June 10, 1972)

Note: Compare with Leonard Cohen On The “Difference Between Life And Art”

“I understand what the blues is now… It’s just talking to your baby.” Leonard Cohen After Stevie Ray Vaughan Performance

quoteup2
Roscoe [Beck] and I took Leonard to hear Stevie [Ray Vaughan] one night at the Hollywood Bowl, and Leonard was silent for a good half-hour after the show. We were walking in silence to the car. And finally Leonard said: ‘I understand what the blues is now.’ I said, ‘What is it you understand?’ And he said: ‘It’s just talking to your baby.’ In other words: It’s intimate. It’s as close to the truth as possible.quotedown2

Jennifer Warnes

 

Let’s Go To The Well by Brad Buchholz (Austin American-Statesman: 2002). Accessed at Jennifer Warnes website. Photo by Paul Lannuier. Originally posted July 18, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen: “I would love to be admired without the work. … I just know that I’ve got to work.”


quoteup2
I would love to be admired without the work. And it’s one of the cruel jokes, and I might say one of the comforting jokes, that one also wants to be admired for beauty, for elegance, for graceful limbs, for the music one creates out of just walking from one room to another. I mean one really would like to be loved for one’s animal grace. But even if one were, that is always subject to time. So when you’re involved with another kind of creation that’s not entirely conditional, then there’s a certain comfort in that, too. I just know that I’ve got to work.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Originally posted Oct 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I like to hear anybody’s story. The people whose stories I like to hear are people who have gone right down the line for it in some way.” Leonard Cohen

hallice

How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns – Interview With Leonard Cohen Presented By John McKenna. RTE Ireland, May 9 & 12, 1988). Originally posted November 3, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The whole thing is designed to prevent a disaster” Leonard Cohen on arranging songs around his voice (1972)

quoteup2
The arrangements are built around my voice to give some sort of structure and tonal variation because my voice gets a bit monotonous. In fact the whole thing is designed to prevent a disaster.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Have You Heard The One About Lenny In The Sandwich Bar? by Andrew Tyler. Disc: September 2, 1972. Originally posted Oct 21, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I was able to turn to art, and in the making of art find solace and strength” Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
It isn’t that in my life I had some inner vision that I’ve been trying to present. I just had the appetite to work. I think the appetite for activity was much more urgent than the realization of any search or vision. I felt that this was my work, and that it was the only work I could do. This sounds like the most hackneyed nineteenth-century platitude, but in the midst of my own tiny personal troubles, I was able to turn to art, or whatever you want to call it. I was able to turn to art, and in the making of art find solace and strength. I mean, this sounds terrible, but I turned to the thing I knew how to do and I made some songs out of it. And in the making of those songs, much of the pain in my life was dissolved, from time to time. And that is one of the things that I see that art does, is that it heals.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Mikal Gilmore, 2001. Accessed at Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents by Mikal Gilmore (Free Press: 2008)