76 comments

    • Which was your favorite, Terry? Mine — clichéd though the selection may be — was “Hallelujah.” It was the first Leonard Cohen song i ever heard, sung by a street musician on a bridge in Paris on a cold and windy evening. Both the words and the performance captured so beautifully the disillusion of that “cold and broken hallelujah.” What a poet he was …

      • There’s a few, gosh. Famous blue raincoat, Alexandra Leaving, probably jump out the most but I could so easily keep on going. He has come to Australia a couple of times in the last years and I Leo to myself “Next time I’ll go….”

        • What a shame you didn’t get to see him live! Neither did i, so i share the same regret.

          As for your picks: Famous Blue Raincoat! Isn’t that marvelous writing? I find it unbearably beautiful for its intimacy. There’s a whole twisted story there, but he paints it with the broadest strokes and lets you fill in the rest. Nice choice, Terry.

          Well, my heartfelt condolences to you. Although neither of us knew him personally, there’s still a very real and tangible sense of loss when an artist who speaks to us passes on …

        • Please pass on my kind wishes to your daughter, Bethany. Whether we know the poet personally or not, it’s always difficult to lose someone who speaks to our soul.

    • … though something tells me Leonard would have described it quite differently. I’m always a little bit conflicted about loving a work that was created out of someone else’s pain.

  1. I think you’re right, he probably would have described it differently, but it’s still true for us. And I’m guessing he expressed his pain at least partly so that we could identify with it. Every artist wants to express themselves (trust me as a musician on that and I’ll bet you as a photographer are the same) – I think if someone wrote a song or a poem (or took a photo) and kept it to themselves it wouldn’t be the same for them, and we would be the poorer

    • It has indeed been a tough year, hasn’t it. Although it’s of small consolation, I am grateful that we at least live in an age in which we can record these greats and share their art so easily.

    • … and I loved that mind of his, which *wrote* those beautiful songs. It seems unfair such people — the best among us — can’t live forever.

  2. I’ve never really followed his music but since his passing I’ve seen a number of quotes that really resonate. These words especially find me thinking about how he saw a basic truth about life and conveyed it so profoundly. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Leonard Cohen sure knew how to put simple truths into beautiful verse, didn’t he? Thank you so much for stopping by!

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