Max Reif
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.34) Tone Poem: The Finale, 'Leonard Cohen — I'M Your Man'

Rating: 4.5
He stands at the mic,
craggy faded eagle
in a grey suit, singing the verse
in a voice of smoke

surrounded by stark figures
black like spectres
from his own youth.

As he finishes,
the band picks up the chorus
and he stands there

smiling with his eyes
closed, just listening
and you feel his whole

life in that smile
and your life, too,

as though the silent
voice of the most beautiful
losers has given
birth to the whole world.
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COMMENTS
Jack Williams 27 August 2009
I was lucky enough to see Leonard Cohen last year and this poem pretty much sums it up. Good stuff.
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Emma Johnson 15 April 2007
A impressive piece capturing the tone of Mr Cohen's wonderful work. Susie.
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Not a member No 4 19 January 2007
Max, I loved this, for its poetic qualities as much as its tribute to and representation of the man, though strictly speaking these elements can't be teased apart in this brief but very convincing portrayal. Without 'craggy faded eagle' the picture would be incomplete, and less accurate. Those who've seen him and listened at length will appreciate the validity of that metaphor. Great echo of 'Joan of Arc' in the 'voice of smoke', and the exit on the 'silent voice of the beautiful losers' is very evocative and apt (and your linking of a singular noun with a singular verb in the penultimate line is bang on too!) , and my guess is that he would have been revelling in the musical moment and all its memories during that eyes closed, smiling state you capture so well. A fitting tribute! ! (I'm your fan.) . (Did I miss anybody?) jim
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Colin J... 16 January 2007
Read the poem again, which I love, and have put in favorites, Noticed a comma missing in my original reply, which changed the meaning, Just found this one Max, I am a Cohen fan, No (,) Disciple is more nearer the truth. You have him perfect Well Done Colin...
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Sue Ann Simar 13 January 2007
I saw/heard that wonderful disc courtesy of netflix. Cohen certainly has lived his life 'true to himself' and his work. certainly not a case of an artistic life instead of the art itself, or of the secret artist
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Gregory Gunn 18 November 2006
Yes, there is a serene aura emannating from Mr. Cohen, and you have captured that essense with this marvellous penning, Max. The final stanza is smashing!
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Leonard Cohen? Ahhhhhhhhhhh.....and all is well with the world.
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Joseph Daly 25 July 2006
I may be sniffy about these things but I went to quite a few gigs in my younger day and you never forget the special artists. The ones who can reach out to you in a crowd of ten thousand or so. They are rare, but they existed. Today's nonentities wouldn't stand a chance. This is a great piece Max, if only for the feelings that it arouses and memories. I never saw Leonard Cohen but I saw a few who could do what has been captured in this narrative. Cheers Max, I'm getting all sloppy and sentimental now.
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Declan McHenry 25 July 2006
An excellent portrait Max. I think you've caught the ambience of the moment superbly.
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Zoe Smith 24 July 2006
Wow I would love to hear this as a song. I believe the second to last line should read 'have' rather than 'has' unless I missed something there. By the way your picture is great. I could see that on an album cover too! Thanks for the enjoyment of your vision. best wishes, eliza
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