Recalling his time at McGill University ” I yearned to live a semi-bohemian lifestyle, an unstructured life; but a consecrated one; some kind of calling.
in an interview

Do not be a magician, be magic.
Beautiful Losers

I had the title Poet, and maybe I was one for a while.
in an interview

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
and he said to me, “Don’t ask for so much.”
And a pretty woman by her darkened door
she cried out to me, “Why not ask for more?”

“Bird on a Wire”

We all thought that we were immortal…We did have this mythological sense of our own lives.”
in an interview

You told me again you preferred handsome men, but for me you’d make an exception.
“Chelsea Hotel #3”

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

Many stones were rolled but God would not lie down
Beautiful Losers, and Buffy Sainte Marie recorded this long passage as a song, “God is Alive, Magic is Afoot”

Magic loves the hungry.
Beautiful Losers

He talks about the song “Traitor” and
“...the feeling that we have of betraying some mission that we were mandated to fulfill, and being unable to fulfill it, and then coming to understand that the real mandate was not to fulfill it, and that the deeper courage was to stand guiltless in the predicament in which you found yourself.”
in an interview

If I have been unkind
I hope that you will let it go by
And if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you

“Bird on a Wire”

It was in the realm of things that couldn’t be disputed or rejected or even judged.”
about his father’s death

Creators care nothing for their systems except that they be unique. If Hitler had been born in Nazi Germany he wouldn’t have been content to enjoy the atmosphere.”
in an interview

and even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah


Leonard Cohen at Red Rocks 2009
Suzanne Vaillancourt