Posted on November 11, 2016 at 8:40 AM

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash”

I have written too many obituaries. Eulogies for people I loved. The last grace and compliment as we say goodbye. When a life touches yours it’s not just that it bruises the soul. It’s a debt and these must be repaid, no matter how poorly.


For me, Leonard Cohen was an inspiration, a guide, a mentor and a friend I never met. That, in brief, is what poets are. They speak for us because they speak to us. Poets trade in common truths. This is how they reach us. And so, poets unite us through our shared humanity.


Cohen is a profoundly spiritual poet by which I mean not that he was some fatuous hippy or a 20th century mystic rather that, in a world increasingly superficial and secular where a cynical dismissal of the sacred is easily fashionable , he dared to write and sing of the eternal and the carnal together. He explored and praised our frailty. He examined the darkness into which we fall and the ladders by which we can climb out.


While the pop and folk singers of the sixties were warbling about love and freedom, Leonard Cohen’s rasping voice talked of the flawed human effort to grasp a state of grace that must elude us, “I have tried, in my way, to be free”. And that effort put clearly in its place by being shared with drunks!


Always dapper, everyone who knew him testified to a man who was courteous, self effacing and generous. He chose to live in a drab part of New York and later in a modest apartment above his daughter and grandchild. He regretted admitting that Chelsea Hotel No.2 was written about Janis Joplin. Doing so was ungentlemanly.


I saw him perform some years ago on the world tour that brought him out of self imposed exile. He was magnificent. No theatrics, just a band of magnificent musicians he was clearly proud to be working with and who felt the same way. Every song was presented as if it were as new and as important as when he first wrote it.


Leonard Cohen was unquestionably one of the greatest modern poets sitting comfortably alongside Eliot or Auden. He wrote the most covered song in Halleluiah and, less often recognised, was the author of two novels. The autobiographical “Favourite Game” brought immediate recognition but it was indicative that he chose to start performing his poetry as song in order to make up for the lack of income it brought in book form. Few, if any, ‘stars’ are that honest and modest about how they came to our attention.


Of the many poets who have accompanied me through the decades of my life, the two I turn to most often were Leonard Cohen and Dylan Thomas. Not surprising then that they should have written to examine our meaning and our worth, that their work should be disparaged in their lifetime and that they should have exposed the inspiration that drives all human enterprise.


I woke this morning to find I’d lost a constancy but then “there is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”.


Categories: None

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply Scennyzew
12:05 AM on December 11, 2020 
Priligy Venta En Venezuela Blache where can i buy cialis on line Buinnebuicle farmacia online viagra espana
Reply Scennyzew
10:48 AM on May 4, 2021 
kamagra australia mastrcard
Reply shizamp
10:03 AM on May 25, 2021 
cialis generic tadalafil
Reply shizamp
12:41 PM on June 11, 2021 
lasix overnight delivery
Reply shizamp
3:44 PM on June 24, 2021 
nolvadex for sale in usa
Reply shizamp
11:12 AM on July 6, 2021 
buy tamoxifen online
Reply shizamp
3:30 AM on August 5, 2021 
buying cialis online
Reply curry shoes
3:42 AM on August 27, 2021 
I am writing to let you understand of the beneficial discovery my friend's girl developed visiting your web page. She figured out several issues, which include what it is like to possess an amazing helping mindset to have many others clearly completely grasp a number of impossible things. You really did more than visitors' expectations. Thanks for offering these important, trustworthy, informative and even unique tips about the topic to Sandra.
curry shoes
Reply yeezy 350 v2
3:43 AM on August 27, 2021 
I definitely wanted to write down a quick word so as to thank you for all of the superb tips and hints you are posting on this site. My time intensive internet research has at the end of the day been rewarded with professional concept to share with my good friends. I 'd repeat that many of us visitors are quite fortunate to live in a fine place with very many lovely individuals with great things. I feel very much grateful to have discovered the webpages and look forward to many more awesome times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for a lot of things.
yeezy 350 v2
Reply kobe sneakers
3:43 AM on August 27, 2021 
I actually wanted to make a small comment in order to express gratitude to you for those splendid ways you are giving out here. My time-consuming internet lookup has finally been paid with good quality strategies to exchange with my close friends. I 'd say that most of us site visitors are truly fortunate to live in a fantastic place with many perfect individuals with beneficial secrets. I feel rather happy to have discovered your entire site and look forward to plenty of more exciting times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything.
kobe sneakers
Reply supreme outlet
3:43 AM on August 27, 2021 
I am just writing to make you be aware of what a wonderful experience my wife's daughter found going through your webblog. She realized lots of things, most notably how it is like to have an incredible helping mindset to let men and women very easily completely grasp various impossible matters. You actually exceeded her expected results. Thanks for giving such warm and friendly, dependable, revealing and even cool guidance on your topic to Tanya.
supreme outlet
Reply moncler
3:44 AM on August 27, 2021 
Thank you so much for providing individuals with a very pleasant opportunity to discover important secrets from this site. It can be so sweet and as well , stuffed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office co-workers to search your website more than 3 times a week to study the newest stuff you have got. And lastly, we are at all times contented for the exceptional hints you give. Some two areas in this posting are undoubtedly the very best I have had.
Reply kobe shoes
3:45 AM on August 27, 2021 
I and my guys came digesting the best tips and hints from the blog and so all of the sudden I got an awful feeling I never thanked the site owner for those techniques. All the women ended up totally excited to see all of them and have in fact been using these things. Thank you for getting indeed kind as well as for obtaining certain good subjects most people are really wanting to learn about. Our own honest regret for not saying thanks to you earlier.
kobe shoes
Reply chrome hearts
3:45 AM on August 27, 2021 
My spouse and i were very fulfilled that Emmanuel managed to carry out his homework by way of the ideas he received out of the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to simply find yourself giving out techniques that many many people have been making money from. Therefore we remember we have the writer to appreciate because of that. The type of explanations you have made, the easy site navigation, the relationships you help to foster - it's got most incredible, and it's assisting our son in addition to our family know that the idea is amusing, which is certainly especially indispensable. Many thanks for the whole lot!
chrome hearts
Reply lebron james shoes
4:43 AM on August 27, 2021 
I actually wanted to develop a brief remark in order to thank you for some of the splendid tips you are writing at this site. My rather long internet lookup has at the end been rewarded with wonderful ideas to share with my great friends. I would assert that most of us website visitors actually are quite lucky to dwell in a fabulous network with so many marvellous people with good tips. I feel really fortunate to have used your web site and look forward to plenty of more thrilling minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for a lot of things.
lebron james shoes
Reply supreme clothing
4:43 AM on August 27, 2021 
Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an exceptionally brilliant possiblity to read from this blog. It is often very superb and full of amusement for me personally and my office acquaintances to search your blog no less than 3 times in 7 days to find out the fresh secrets you will have. Of course, I am always fascinated considering the mind-boggling techniques you give. Selected 4 areas on this page are rather the finest we have all ever had.
supreme clothing
Reply yeezy shoes
4:44 AM on August 27, 2021 
Needed to draft you a bit of observation to help give thanks once again for these superb tactics you've shared here. This is so seriously open-handed with people like you to make openly precisely what many of us would've distributed as an e book in order to make some dough on their own, chiefly since you might have tried it if you ever considered necessary. The basics in addition acted to become a fantastic way to be aware that other people online have a similar dream just as my personal own to see a whole lot more in regard to this issue. I think there are numerous more pleasurable occasions up front for folks who examine your blog post.
yeezy shoes
Reply golden goose sneakers
4:44 AM on August 27, 2021 
I needed to create you the tiny word to give thanks the moment again considering the stunning things you've shared here. This is open-handed of people like you to present extensively precisely what most people could have sold as an ebook to help make some cash for themselves, certainly since you could have done it in case you desired. The creative ideas in addition acted to be a easy way to be sure that most people have the same dreams the same as my very own to know the truth much more regarding this condition. I believe there are lots of more pleasant moments in the future for many who go through your site.
golden goose sneakers
Reply irving shoes
4:44 AM on August 27, 2021 
I needed to send you that little remark just to say thanks as before with your incredible guidelines you've provided here. It has been really incredibly open-handed of you to make unreservedly just what many people might have offered as an electronic book to earn some bucks on their own, mostly given that you could possibly have done it in case you considered necessary. These pointers in addition acted to be a great way to understand that other people online have the same fervor just as my own to figure out a little more with regard to this matter. I'm certain there are lots of more enjoyable sessions ahead for people who see your website.
irving shoes
Reply chrome hearts online store
4:45 AM on August 27, 2021 
I together with my pals came looking at the great strategies located on your web blog and so instantly came up with an awful suspicion I never thanked the blog owner for those strategies. The boys were definitely for this reason very interested to study all of them and have pretty much been having fun with these things. Appreciation for indeed being considerably kind as well as for pick out variety of nice useful guides most people are really desperate to learn about. My very own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.
chrome hearts online store