“Epic and enigmatic songwriter” says Larry Rohter of the New York Times.
Often I share the words and music of Leonard Cohen with singers. In high school, an English teacher/mentor would play the recorded music of Cohen for the class – songs like “Suzanne” and “Hallelujah” – and we would delve into his poetic text. One Christmas, I gave my daughter an anthology of Cohen’s poetry. His poetic phrase and depth of humaness resonated with us.
The verse from “Suzanne” reflects Cohen’s brilliance:
“And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them”
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone.”
I knew Leonard Cohen through his lyric and through his music – and like many – I feel I knew the man.