Blues, Musical Artist
Who is Leonard Cohen?
Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work has explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature.
The critic Bruce Eder assessed Cohen's overall career in popular music by asserting that "[he is] one of the most fascinating and enigmatic … singer/songwriters of the late '60s … [and] has retained an audience across four decades of music-making … Second only to Bob Dylan [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century."
The Academy of American Poets has commented more broadly on Cohen's overall career in the arts, including his work as a poet, novelist, and songwriter, stating that "[Cohen's] successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than 200 of Cohen's poems … several novel excerpts, and almost 60 song lyrics … While it may seem to some that Leonard Cohen departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a Renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines."
- Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.
- Any startling piece of work has a subversive element in it, a delicious element often. Subversion is only disagreeable when it manifests in political or social activity. In what we call art, it's one of the most desirable characteristics of a piece of work.
- 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 armor themselves against wonder.
- Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered.
- What is most original in a man's 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 wouldn't have been content to enjoy the atmosphere.
- There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.
- 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.
- The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and it's overturned the order of the soul...
- 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.
- I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That's what sitting on your ass does to your face.
Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:
"Leonard Cohen." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 18 Sep. 2019. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/leonard_cohen>.
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- Sep 21, 1934
- Also known as
- Leonard Norman Cohen
- Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ
- Ashkenazi Jews
- Jewish people
- McGill University
- Westmount High School
- Columbia University
- Lived in
on July 23, 2013