With 2016’s Nobel Prize for Literature going to Bob Dylan the crossover between literature and lyrics has never been more blurred and Leonard Cohen who will forever be known for his amazing music was a perfect example of that blurring; a successful and much admired singer songwriter he was also a novelist, poet and a spoken word artist.
Born on 21 September 1934 in Westmount, Quebec Cohen went to Westmount High School, where he studied music and poetry, learned to play the guitar and formed a country–folk group called The Buckskin Boys. Cohen published his first book of poetry Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1956 which contained poems written by him during his late teens and he would continue to write poetry and fiction throughout his life although with less frequency as the years went by. From his poems, his books, and his music here are 10 Leonard Cohen Quotes from The Musician, The Maestro, The Poet.
If I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.
Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.
Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you. . . It’s like taking a drink of cold water when you are thirsty. Every tastebud on your tongue, every molecule in your body says thank you.
If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick everyday.
When things get really bad, just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig. That’s about all you can do.
I did my best, it wasn’t much. I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch. I told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you. And even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song, with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah…
Leonard died at the age of 82 on November 11th 2016.