When he was young and fresh, I was too busy with other things, and as yet insufficiently attuned to poetry, to take note of his artistry. Maybe that’s why he was starving in 1971. I came to appreciate him within the last decade or so.
Catchy, upbeat and danceable he wasn’t. Neither am I. He was deep, somber, insightful.
Everyone praises “Hallelujah,” but my co-favorite (along with Suzanne, which Judy Collins made gorgeous) is Anthem, if only for the refrain:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
I care not a whit that the world is without Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Prince. But I’ll miss Leonard Cohen. I bought his latest album immediately upon learning of his death.
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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)