Quotations From LEONARD COHEN


 

  • Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. "F.," sect. 18, Beautiful Losers (1970).

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  • The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. Lawrence Breavman, in The Favourite Game, bk. 4, sct. 12 (1963).

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  • It is painful to recall a past intensity, to estimate your distance from the Belsen heap, to make your peace with numbers. Just to get up each morning is to make a kind of peace.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. "Lines from My Grandfather's Journal," The Spice-Box of Earth (1965).

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  • 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.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. "Lines From My Grandfather's Journal," The Spice-Box Of Earth (1961).

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  • Some say that no one ever leaves Montreal, for that city, like Canada itself, is designed to preserve the past, a past that happened somewhere else.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. The Favourite Game, bk. 2, sct. 19 (1963).

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  • A woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. The Favourite Game, bk. 3, ch. 8 (1963).

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  • In dreams the truth is learned that all good works are done in the absence of a caress.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. The Favourite Game, bk. 3, ch. 8 (1963).

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  • To every people the land is given on condition. Perceived or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond sovereign guarantee, beyond the nation's sweetest dreams of itself.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. Book of Mercy, sect. 27 (1984).

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  • 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.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. Book of Mercy, sect. 30 (1984).

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  • 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.
    Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian singer, poet, novelist. "A Long Letter from F," bk. 2, Beautiful Losers (1970).

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