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leonard cohen Quotes

Leonard Cohen Quotes

Birth Date: 1934-09-21 (Friday, September 21st, 1934)

 

Quotes

    • and you kissed me shy as though I'd never been your lover
    • Rust rust rust in the engines of love and time
    • What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is the caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape. His house is dangerous and finite, but he is at home in the world. He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love.
    • God is alive. Magic is afoot. God is alive. Magic is afoot. God is afoot. Magic is alive. Alive is afoot. Magic never died. God never sickened. Many poor men lied. Many sick men lied. Magic never weakened. Magic never hid. Magic always ruled. God is afoot. God was ruler though his funeral lengthened. Though his mourners thickened Magic never fled...
    • It was only when you walked away I saw you had the perfect ass. Forgive me for not falling in love with your face or your conversation.
    • Only in Canada could somebody with a voice like mine win 'Vocalist of the Year'.
    • I am so often accused of gloominess and melancholy. And I think I'm probably the most cheerful man around. I don't consider myself a pessimist at all. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel completely soaked to the skin. ... I think those descriptions of me are quite inappropriate to the gravity of the predicament that faces us all. I've always been free from hope. It's never been one of my great solaces. I feel that more and more we're invited to make ourselves strong and cheerful. .... I think that it was Ben Jonson who said, I have studied all the theologies and all the philosophies, but cheerfulness keeps breaking through.
    • Now, I don't want to give you the impression that I'm a great musicologist, but I'm a lot better than what I was described as for a long, long time; you know, people said I only knew three chords when I knew five.
    • I feel that, you know, the enormous luck I've had in being able to make a living, and to never have had to have written one word that I didn't want to write, to be able to have satisfied that dictum I set for myself, which was not to work for pay, but to be paid for my work - just to be able to satisfy those standards that I set for myself has been an enormous privilege.
    • People used to say my music was too difficult or too obscure, and I never set out to be difficult or obscure. I just set out to write what I felt as honestly as I could, and I am delighted when other people feel a part of themselves in the music.
    • This is the very contrary of dropping out. Most people can't wait to get home to their house or apartment and shut that door and turn on the TV. To me, that's dropping out.
    • 'You have loved enough, now let me be the lover.' You could say that God is speaking to you or the cosmos, or your lover. It just means, like, Forget it. Lean back and be loved by all that is already loving you. It is your effort at love that is preventing you from experiencing it. It is like if you ever taught kids how to swim. The most difficult thing is Goddam to understand that they will float, if they relax, if they hold their breath and relax, they will actually float. For most kids it is difficult to swim. They feel they are going to sink like a stone to the bottom of the lake.
    • Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river. You can hear the boats go by, You can spend the night beside her, And you know that she's half crazy But that's why you want to be there, And she feeds you tea and oranges That come all the way from China. And just when you mean to tell her That you have no love to give her Then she gets you on her wavelength And she lets the river answer That you've always been her lover. And you want to travel with her, And you want to travel blind, And you know that she will trust you, For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.
    • And she shows you where to look Among the garbage and the flowers. There are heroes in the seaweed, There are children in the morning, They are leaning out for love, And they will lean that way forever, While Suzanne holds the mirror.
    • Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone. They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on. And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song. Oh I hope you run into them, you who've been travelling so long.
    • Yes, you who must leave everything that you cannot control, It begins with your family, and soon it comes round to your soul. Well I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned: When you're not feeling holy your loneliness says that you've sinned.
    • When they lay down beside me I made my confession to them. They touched both my eyes and I touched the dew on their hem. If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn, They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.
    • When I left they were sleeping, I hope you run into them soon. Don't turn on the lights, you can read their address by the moon. And you won't make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night: We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.
    • I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, Yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new, In city and in forest they smiled like me and you, But let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie, your eyes are soft with sorrow, Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
    • 'Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye'
    • Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free.
    • You who build these altars now to sacrifice these children, you must not do it anymore. A scheme is not a vision and you never have been tempted by a demon or a god.
    • When it all comes down to dust I will kill you if I must, I will help you if I can. When it all comes down to dust I will help you if I must, I will kill you if I can.
    • Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows
    • I come from a country where we do not have the same struggles as you have. I respect your struggles. And it may surprise you, but I respect both sides of this struggle. It seems to be that in Europe there needs to be a left foot and a right foot to move forward. I wish that both feet move forward and the body moves towards its proper destiny. This is an intense country; the people are heroic, the spirit is independent. It is a difficult country to govern, it needs a strong government and a strong union. ... I would like to say to you, to the leaders of the left, and the leaders of the right, I sing... I sing for everyone. My song has no flag, my song has no party. And I say the prayer, that we said in our synagogue, I say it for the leader of your uni