Leonard bids farewell. I have heard/read a lot of his work and am happy he left us with a great final record “You Want it Darker”.
For those of you who know me, he was a HUGE influence on my world view. My work. My soul.
For me he was equal parts insightful, comical, abstract, personal, sensual, political, spiritual, and really just wonderful. And dark as all get up.
His work has influenced many people I’ve met on different levels. For me, who really started to “understand” poetry because of him – well what do you say about that? But he pushed my mind/self into places that challenged and blew me up. So much so that I have continually loved re-engaging with his new/old work frequently.
Such a soul.
I remember reading his poems in so many different people’s houses throughout my academic career.
I forget where I read this very recently but it was something like: “At 35 Cohen sounded like an old wise soul, now he sounds eternal”. Indeed. As a favour to yourself, go find all of his poems and songs and interviews and all the things he has left us. He was such a great artist. And a kind soul.
So here is my clickbait my friends – my “favourite” five Cohen things and you WON’T BELIEVE NUMBER FIVE! But seriously, I’m leaving out dozens of great things. I could just take pics of all the pages of his books I have on my shelves here, but go find them yo! And I am leaving out so many things (THE FUTURE – SO RELEVANT RIGHT NOW RIGHT?)
1. As the Mist Leaves No Scar – this is where it started for me. If you ever bump into me, I can/will recite this piece because its where my admiration of poetry began. In my 4th year of grade 10. (That’s another story):
3. So Long Marianne live (when he was 80!):
4. Pixies cover I Can’t Forget – for those of you who know me you can guess how messed up I was when the 2 musical/poetical worlds collided:
5. Dear Heather because this guy went so far with experimenting with how beautifully complex our world can be. His approach to things could not be predicted. This is all of the cultural complexities and oddness one might expect from someone who floated in/out/through/with/without/because of/in relation to/exploring what structures of words and sounds could be. Oh. And he did this when he was 70 so if you think experimentation ever ends, Leonard has a solid for you right here:
Farewell Leonard and thank you so much for all you gave.
What were your memories of Leonard Cohen?