Leonard Cohen
Quotations


A woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love.

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.

Seven to eleven is a huge chunk of life, full of dulling and forgetting. It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder.

The term clinical depression finds its way into too many conversations these days. One has a sense that a catastrophe has occurred in the psychic landscape.

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.

What is most original in a manís nature is often that which is most desperate. Thus new systems are forced on the world by men who simply cannot bear the pain of living with what is. Creators care nothing for their systems except that they be unique. If Hitler had been born in Nazi Germany he wouldnít have been content to enjoy the atmosphere.

In dreams the truth is learned that all good works are done in the absence of a caress.

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.

Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.

The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.

To every people the land is given on condition. Perceived or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond sovereign guarantee, beyond the nationís sweetest dreams of itself.

Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered.



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