June Poetry: Day 8 – Leonard Cohen

Posted: June 8, 2011 in poetry
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June Poetry: Day 8 – Leonard Cohen

Many of you probably already know the name Leonard Cohen, he’s been a singer and song writer since the 60’s and I knew him from his singing career as well.  The links below are to my two favorite Leonard Cohen songs:

Dance me to the end of love  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pA5UhNaYw0

I’m your man  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW8rFho6In8

 To me the lyrics to I’m your man are pure poetry and the pacing and the music are the song in my opinion are utter perfection.

Cohen has also been writing poetry since the 50’s and I’ve selected a couple of his pieces for your reading pleasure.  So enjoy the dual sensations of music and words today.

Beneath My Hands (“In my hands, your small breasts …”) from “The Spice-Box of Earth”

Beneath my hands
your small breasts
are the upturned bellies
of breathing fallen sparrows.

Wherever you move
I hear the sounds of closing wings
of falling wings.

I am speechless
because you have fallen beside me
because your eyelashes
are the spines of tiny fragile animals.

I dread the time
when your mouth
begins to call me hunter.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want to summon
the eyes and hidden mouths
of stone and light and water
to testify against you.

I want them
to surrender before you
the trembling rhyme of your face
from their deep caskets.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want my body and my hands
to be pools
for your looking and laughing.



I Have Not Lingered In European Monasteries from “The Spice-Box of Earth”

I Have Not Lingered In European Monasteries
and discovered among the tall grasses tombs of knights
who fell as beautifully as their ballads tell;
I have not parted the grasses
or purposefully left them thatched.

I have not held my breath
so that I might hear the breathing of God
or tamed my heartbeat with an exercise,
or starved for visions.
Although I have watched him often
I have not become the heron,
leaving my body on the shore,
and I have not become the luminous trout,
leaving my body in the air.

I have not worshipped wounds and relics,
or combs of iron,
or bodies wrapped and burnt in scrolls.

I have not been unhappy for ten thousand years.
During the day I laugh and during the night I sleep.
My favorite cooks prepare my meals,
my body cleans and repairs itself,
and all my work goes well.



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