“I hope we can come up with something orchestral with some spoken material.” Leonard Cohen On Future Projects (2016)

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I would like to work with Pat [Leonard] in any capacity… He is such a magnificent composer. I don’t think there’s anybody working today with those kinds of skills, who could translate one of my tunes into that really beautiful chamber music. So yes, I hope we can come up with something orchestral with some spoken material — and I also, God willing, hope that perhaps that another record of songs also might emerge. But one never knows.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Also see Is A New Leonard Cohen Album In The Making?

Statement made at Oct. 13, 2016 Leonard Cohen event for the release of his new album You Want It Darker. Source: Leonard Cohen Corrects Himself: ‘I Intend to Stick Around Until 120’ by Chris Willman (Billboard: Oct 14, 2016). Photo by Frank Micelotta/Sony Music Canada.

Leonard Cohen Performs To Love Somebody By The Bee Gees, Notes That “I know that some girls like my songs, but a lot more like the Bee Gees.”

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I know that some girls like my songs, but a lot more like the Bee Gees. Girls like singers. There are different roles that seduce people and singer is one of them.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Quotation from Cohen at 50: On His Songs, His Women And Children by Chris Cobb Ottawa Citizen: April 21, 1984. Originally posted November 16, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

A few years before making that observation about the Bee Gees, Leonard performed their hit, To Love Somebody, at the November 5, 1980 Eppelheim concert. The video is provided by messalina79. “To Love Somebody” is also part of The Other Leonard Cohen Album compilation, available for free download at the link.

“Every poem is about life and death. That’s really the only realm you want to live in. The really great things about a poem are what is happening to the man, how that bit of language happens to get something across to him.” Leonard Cohen 1966

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We tend to get into the question of poetry as if it were an end in itself, whereas poetry really is a verdict. I’ve said that and felt that many times. It’s really the name we give to a certain kind of experience, wither one that raises the hair on the back of our necks, or one that places our heads above ourselves. We tend to lose ourselves because we can’t talk about the fire, or we can’t really show each other what we mean about life. We tend to talk about the way poems are organized, but I think that every poem is about life and death. That’s really the only realm you want to live in. The really great things about a poem are what is happening to the man, how that bit of language happens to get something across to him. Talk about the language is like the pointing finger and not the moon.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

A Session With Poet Cohen by Jon Whyte et al. The Gateway: December 2, 1966 (The Gateway is the student newspaper of The University of Alberta). Photo Credit: Henry Sotheran Ltd.

David Was asks Leonard Cohen “if Buddhism or amphetamines would be more efficacious when it came time to squeeze out a new album’s worth of songs.”

 

David Was: Leonard confessed to using his Zen practice to alleviate a “sense of despair” that he’d always had, but also to find his voice again, to fuel another bout with the muse. When I was going through a serious episode of writer’s block, I asked him if Buddhism or amphetamines would be more efficacious when it came time to squeeze out a new album’s worth of songs. 

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Speed is incredibly useful when you are at a loss for lyrical inspiration. But I warn you: you will have to be prepared to have a nervous breakdown in your fifties, as happened to me.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

David Was: I polished off my tequila and cranberry and thanked him for his sage advice.

Leonard Cohen Smiles Down on Us From the ‘Tower of Song’ by David Weiss (Newsweek: Nov 11, 2016). David Weiss aka David Was founded, along With his stage-brother Don Was, the pop group Was (Not Was). The tequila and cranberry drink David Was polished off was a Red Needle, a  cocktail concocted by Mr Cohen.

: Leonard commented with some frequency on the use of stimulants such as amphetamine and Ritalin in dealing with his depression. A summary of Leonard Cohen’s depression, its treatment, and its disappearance is available at Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution. Leonard also, however, gave accounts of using speed during some creative endeavors such as Beautiful Losers (see The Miracle Of The Storks: Leonard Cohen Talks About His Breakdown & Recovery After Writing Beautiful Losers) and Death Of A Ladies’ Man.

Leonard Cohen On Songwriting “I tend to feel more like a worker… with little things to do. And I find it takes tremendous amounts of concentration and energy just to get those little things done.”

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Cohen denies any grand mission behind his work. Refusing gambits that might lead toward aesthetic theorizing, he talks only nuts and bolts. “I tend to feel more like a worker – a cabinet maker or something – with little things to do. And I find it takes tremendous amounts of concentration and energy just to get those little things done.

From Conversations from a Room by Tom Chaffin. Canadian Forum: August/September 1983. Photo by Lorca Cohen.

“All the personages or the characters in the songs [are] part of the same landscape, the interior landscape” Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, Personal Interview with Winfried Siemerling. 2 November 1990, North York. Unpublished. Quoted in Interior Landscapes and the Public Realm: Contingent Mediations in a Speech and a Song by Leonard Cohen by Winfried Siemerling. Canadian Poetry: No. 33, Fall/Winter, 1993. Photo by Maarten Massa. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“There are some things that are designed to rest on the page and not be spoken” Leonard Cohen On Sexualized Language In His Poems

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What I’d really like to know is why your poetry is so stark, so incredibly blunt – a poem like for instance …

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I like that poem… If it didn’t have the word ‘cunt’ in it I’d probably read it out loud on stage. But I’m not ready to say that word well enough yet. There are some things that are designed to rest on the page and not be spoken…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Note: The word “cunt” appears in at least five poems by Leonard Cohen written before the date of this interview (all published in The Energy of Slaves):

  • This Is the Only Poem
  • I Will Grow Old
  • You Are A Much Finer Person Than I Am
  • Cutting The Hair
  • We Call It Sunlight

Leonard Cohen also discusses the use of “cunt” in his writing at “People should have a kind of nervous reaction to that word. It is one of the sacred words and it deserves to be whispered.” Leonard Cohen On Sexualized Language In His Writing.

Suffering For Fan And Profit – The Return Of Leonard Cohen by Mick Brown. Sounds: July 3, 1976, Accessed 26 April 2014 at LeonardCohenFiles. Photo Credit: Roloff Beny / Library and Archives Canada / PA-196331. Originally posted Apr 26, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

“The only thing that differs in those writers [Celine, Burroughs, Gunter Grass, Sartre] and myself is that I hold out the idea of ecstasy as the solution.” Leonard Cohen 1967

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The only thing that differs in those writers [Celine, Burroughs, Selbe, Gunter Grass, and Sartre] and myself is that I hold out the idea of ecstasy as the solution. If only people get high, they can face the evil part. If a man feels in his heart it’s only going to be a mundane confrontation with feelings, and he has to recite to himself Norman Vincent Peale slogans, ‘Be better, be good,’ he hasn’t had a taste of that madness. He’s never soared, he’s never let go of the silver thread and he doesn’t know what it feels to be like a god. For him, all the stories about holiness and the temple of the body are meaningless.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From After the Wipe-Out, A Renewal” by Sandra Diwa, published in The Ubyssey (the student newspaper of the University of British Columbia), February 3, 1967. The photo is from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, ASC01708. Originally posted August 3, 2016 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric