“Just to say ‘Hallelujah’, to praise the energy that manifests, just to affirm our journey. It’s very invigorating to sing that word.” Leonard Cohen

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The word ‘Hallelujah’ of course is so rich, so abundant. It’s a wonderful word to sing and people have been singing that word for thousands of years. It seems to call down some beneficial energy when you declare it in the face of the kind of catastrophes that are manifesting everywhere. Just to say ‘Hallelujah’, to praise the energy that manifests, just to affirm our journey. It’s very invigorating to sing that word.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. Image is a screen capture from a video of Leonard Cohen performing Hallelujah in Birmingham – 2013.

Leonard Cohen, On Being Asked If His Songs Reflect World Conflicts: “I’ve tried over the years to find a political position that no one can actually decipher.”

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There seems to be within [Popular Problems] recurrent mentions of the military and war and battles. I was wondering if that reflected a current preoccupation with conflicts that are taking place at the moment?

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Of course it reflects the world that we live in. It was not deliberate but one picks up these things from the atmosphere… I’ve tried over the years to find a political position that no one can actually decipher.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. Photo atop this post shared by High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom Facebook page

“We all live lives that are tethered to certain circumstances in which we find ourselves. So in a certain sense everyone is born in chains and lives in chains… but there are also moments of liberation and also captivity.” Leonard Cohen On Born In Chains

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. Image is a screen capture from video of Leonard Cohen performing Born In Chains in Oakland – 2010.

“Just because the lines don’t come to the end of the page doesn’t necessarily qualify it as poetry. Just because they do doesn’t make it prose.” Leonard Cohen

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Ladies and Gents, Leonard Cohen by Jack Hafferkamp (Rolling Stone: Feb. 4, 1971). Image atop this post is the back cover of The Energy Of Slaves by Leonard Cohen (Jonathan Cape UK: 1972). Originally posted June 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I didn’t get enough money or women or fame for me to quit. I don’t have enough yet, so I’ve got to keep on playing. I know it’s rather unbecoming at forty to keep it all going, but I have to do it.” Leonard Cohen 1977

[I asked] Cohen about longevity in songwriters, why so few lasted past adolescence.

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I think there are a number of things that bear on that. You can burn yourself out, for one. The late teens and twenties are generally the lyric phase of a writer’s career. If you achieve enough fame and women and money during that period, you quit, because that’s generally the motivation. I mean, I didn’t get enough money or women or fame for me to quit. I don’t have enough yet, so I’ve got to keep on playing. I know it’s rather unbecoming at forty to keep it all going, but I have to do it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

The Obscure Case of Leonard Cohen and The Mysterious Mr. M. by Bruce Pollock (After Dark: February 1977). Found at LeonardCohenFiles.

Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Poetry, The Soul, & Book Of Mercy + Recite The Captain: 1984 Interview

In June 1984 I sat with Leonard Cohen in his room at the top of Toronto’s Sutton Place Hotel where we talked about his newest collection Book of Mercy. I confessed an uneasiness about love poems because of how often other kinds of love beyond the romantic are overlooked or are treated in a puerile fashion. Not so one poem coming three months after my son’s birth… Even more interesting is what he had to say about poetry and the shift away from traditional lyric to language poetry.

David Godkin’s YouTube Description

A few key quotes from Leonard Cohen’s interview follow:

  • Book of Mercy can only be conceived as a book of prayer… it is different from my other books
  • I’m comfortable [using] the name of God
  • There are many superstitions afoot; one is that there is no soul.
  • You only address the problem of soul when you feel that you’re losing it
  • [Referring to Snow Is Falling by William Carlos Williams] That kind of accuracy is present on every page of Book of Mercy; it’s just about a landscape that’s unfamiliar

 

 

Photo by Daniel Bastida.

“I never thought we were singers. I certainly never had any musical standards to tyrannize me. I thought it was something to do with the truth, that if you told your story, that’s what the song was about.” Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen Interviewed About Judy Collins and “Suzanne”. Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174.

“I never did set poetry to music… I got stuck with that. It was a bum rap. I never set a poem to music. I’m not that hopeless. I know the difference between a poem and a song!” Leonard Cohen

From “Porridge?  Lozenge?  Syringe?” by Adrian Deevoy, Q Magazine, 1991. Accessed 29 July 2011 at LeonardCohenFiles. Originally posted July 29, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric