He [Leonard Cohen] has published three collections of poetry and two novels, The Favorite Game and Beautiful Losers. He continues to write poetry, but it takes a back seat to his music.
I keep scratching away and things emerge. It’s a swifter, more impressionistic kind of work. The song is based on the stanza and uses a very intricate verse form. Whereas writing so-called poetry when you don’t have to come to the end of the line is a freer kind of activity. The regimen these songs demand is very much like the novel — they demand a daily application. There’s no way you can do this on the run. I wish there were. But, chez moi, I’ve got to get down to it every day.
From Rebirth of a Ladies’ Man By Brendan Kelly. The Financial Post: December 12, 1992. Image from back cover of Flowers for Hitler by Leonard Cohen, Jonathan Cape (UK): 1973. Photo by Sophie Baker.