Leonard Cohen


Democracy - Poem by Leonard Cohen

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that it ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.


Comments about Democracy by Leonard Cohen

  • Practicing Poetess (4/3/2018 11:05:00 PM)


    A great write from a great man.
    RIP, Leonard Cohen.
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rajnish Manga (4/3/2018 9:30:00 PM)


    Democracy is the only hope for the world to survive despite having its own shortcomings. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (4/3/2018 4:38:00 PM)


    Leonard Cohen had a love affair with words throughout his career. This poem is no exception- every line carries his brand. (Report) Reply

  • (4/3/2018 3:43:00 PM)


    When two different worlds collide, another reality is forming. The religious, feminist, philosophical and political polemics lead to wars, fires, and ashes. Democracy gains a new meaning. Wonderful poem. (Report) Reply

  • (4/3/2018 3:43:00 PM)


    Usually, in the pluralist societies or in the multicultural communities, there are different tolerances, especially religious tolerances for the people to live peacefully. A society can maintain its ethic and moral values when a part of the citizens can let others have different opinions together with the right to share their ideas. (Report) Reply

  • (4/3/2018 3:42:00 PM)


    Those protests that occurred, in 1989, in Tiananmen Square for the freedom of speech were like 'holes in the air'.
    The freedom of speech became a conundrum for those communist societies because of the totalitarian regime. This is one of the main causes these societies descended into destructive.
    (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (4/3/2018 2:44:00 PM)


    Wonderful, amazing poem shared by the poet. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (4/3/2018 2:17:00 PM)


    a brilliant write to continue the fight for something free for you and me......sail on sail on for true democracy.
    well penned friend.
    (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (4/3/2018 12:47:00 PM)


    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A....... What kind of democracy.... to be shot by frenzies bullet... to be cracked by any time the name of colors.... Tiananmen is a bogus tragedy of civilized man against the searching of a society for human being more liable to keep right of primary needs for the majority people. No politics here I utter to be practiced but a lane for the men should be guarded by intelligents not by the emotionals. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/3/2018 11:59:00 AM)


    Through a hole! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (4/3/2018 8:22:00 AM)


    I have special admiration for poets who write singable lyrics, for singer-songwriters whose songs make good poetry. This one by Leonard Cohen is a doozy! (See it in its entirety below which Fabrizio has provided for us.) And intrinsic to it is the extraordinary irony about America that has, in its myth about itself, cast itself as the purveyor of democracy. May it indeed return and flourish in this my native land. -GK (Report) Reply

  • Mario, Lucien, Rene Odekerken (4/3/2018 7:12:00 AM)


    Wonderful poem by a great poet (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (4/3/2018 1:45:00 AM)


    Such a great poem by Leonard Cohen👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • (11/10/2016 9:51:00 PM)


    ...........an epic write ★ well done (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/28/2015 11:22:00 AM)


    FULL TEXT:

    ''Democracy''

    It's coming through a hole in the air,
    from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
    It's coming from the feel
    that this ain't exactly real,
    or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
    From the wars against disorder,
    from the sirens night and day,
    from the fires of the homeless,
    from the ashes of the gay:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
    It's coming through a crack in the wall;
    on a visionary flood of alcohol;
    from the staggering account
    of the Sermon on the Mount
    which I don't pretend to understand at all.
    It's coming from the silence
    on the dock of the bay,
    from the brave, the bold, the battered
    heart of Chevrolet:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

    It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
    the holy places where the races meet;
    from the homicidal bitchin'
    that goes down in every kitchen
    to determine who will serve and who will eat.
    From the wells of disappointment
    where the women kneel to pray
    for the grace of God in the desert here
    and the desert far away:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

    Sail on, sail on
    O mighty Ship of State!
    To the Shores of Need
    Past the Reefs of Greed
    Through the Squalls of Hate
    Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

    It's coming to America first,
    the cradle of the best and of the worst.
    It's here they got the range
    and the machinery for change
    and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
    It's here the family's broken
    and it's here the lonely say
    that the heart has got to open
    in a fundamental way:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

    It's coming from the women and the men.
    O baby, we'll be making love again.
    We'll be going down so deep
    the river's going to weep,
    and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
    It's coming like the tidal flood
    beneath the lunar sway,
    imperial, mysterious,
    in amorous array:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

    Sail on, sail on...

    I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
    I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
    And I'm neither left or right
    I'm just staying home tonight,
    getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
    But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
    that Time cannot decay,
    I'm junk but I'm still holding up
    this little wild bouquet:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/20/2015 1:15:00 AM)


    I like this poem/song very much. (Report) Reply

  • (4/13/2014 1:26:00 AM)


    william blum: deomocrasy: america deadliest export.. so democrasy is the most crime think in this word! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • (2/21/2012 1:34:00 PM)


    This is only the first verse (Report) Reply

Read all 18 comments »

# 484 poem on top 500 Poems




What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: night, war, fire



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



[Report Error]