Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leonard Cohen Light

I am almost embarassed to be this naked. I might hesitate to say these poems aloud before an audience. I might be afraid they would see how true they are for me. I break down nearly every time I read Suzanne or listen to the song.

Suzanne - Leonard Cohen

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that shes half crazy
But thats why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from china
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.

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
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From salvation army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.


Leonard Cohen Light

Leonard said you paint
with light the way Suzanne took
me down. Oh God, I
have drowned in the glide
of the waves, the seafoam she
sent me, swirling to
my core as the light
in her eyes pierced me. I
long for life like this.
February 9, 2009 8:45 AM


  1. a person-no, more than that.
    a girl-no, far more than a girl.
    Anyway, once she gifted me the song Suzanne by Cohen. And she did take me to the river. and she is half crazy. And I do need to be there. Thanks for stirring the dream. ~rick

  2. {{{Michelle}}} Hope all is well.

    Rikkij - amen, brother.

  3. As well as can be thanks. That is one beautiful piece of writing, well, two actually.


  4. Don't we all long for light like this. I listened to various artists singing Suzanne on iTunes and hubby listened with me and said don't I wish I had written that, and I said yeah.

  5. I remember being 18 and hearing "the sun pours down like honey". I fell in love then with Cohen, Suzanne, the sun, it all.

    I remember being 22 and small in a shower and belting this song out at a boyfriend's house. The words didn't touch him. He didn't see her rags and he probably would have turned his head from her. I dumped him.

    I look forward to oranges.

    There in not one misword in Suzanne. Not one. I cry and wonder with you.

  6. This is certainly a Wayback Machine for me this morning.

  7. Wow, and my old girlfriend said posting on Suzanne certainly dated me. Now my next post makes more sense. Way back machine indeed.

    I agree, there is not one word wrongly chosen or wrongly placed in Cohen's poem, and it is even stronger when you add his music to it.

    Oh an by the way, speaking of wayback machines, my old girlfriend was music director at our church several years back and got me to solo on one of Judy Collin's oldest songs one time. That was my only solo like that ever. I would never have done that for anyone else. Dating myself. Hmphf.

    Techno, pretty good music all right. I suggest you get more familiar with all of Leonard Cohen if you can. I think most of his work hits the standard of Suzanne.

    Erin, I can see that, deciding that a man is worth it on the basis of can he fall for Suzanne or not. It is simply the case that if a woman can't evoke that feeling a little in me then I will never be truly hers, even if I do commit and hang around long term.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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