Leonard Norman Cohen, CC (born September 21, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian poet, novelist, and singer-songwriter. Cohen began his career in literature, publishing his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his ... more
What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What's the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?
Seven to eleven is a huge chunk of life, full of dulling and forgetting. It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armor themselves against wonder.
Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute. Let generals secretly despair of triumph; killing will be defamed. Let priests secretly despair of faith: their compassion will be true.
Raise a million filters and the rain will not be clean, until the longing for it be refined in deep confession. And still we hear, If only this nation had a soul, or, Let us change the way we trade, or, Let us be proud of our region.
I have nothing against the Queen of England. Even in my heart I never resented her for not being Jackie Kennedy. She is, to my mind, a very gallant lady, victimized by whoever it is who designs the tops of her uniforms.
What is most original in a man's nature is often that which is most desperate. Thus new systems are forced on the world by men who simply cannot bear the pain of living with what is. Creators care nothing for their systems except that they be unique. If Hitler had been born in Nazi Germany he wouldn't have been content to enjoy the atmosphere.
Any startling piece of work has a subversive element in it, a delicious element often. Subversion is only disagreeable when it manifests in political or social activity. In what we call art, it's one of the most desirable characteristics of a piece of work.