Saturday, October 3, 2009

Titles by Leonard Cohen

I had the title Poet
and maybe I was one
for a while
Also the title Singer
was kindly accorded me
even though
I could barely carry a tune
For many years
I was known as a Monk
I shaved my head and wore robes
and got up very early
I hated everyone
but I acted generously
and no one found me out
My reputation
as a Ladies' Man was a joke
It caused me to laugh bitterly
through the ten thousand nights
I spent alone
From a third-storey window
above the Parc du Portugal
I've watched the snow
come down all day
As usual
there's no one here
There never is
the inner conversation
is cancelled
by the white noise of winter
"I am neither the mind,
The intellect,
nor the silent voice within..."
is also cancelled
and now Gentle Reader
in what name
in whose name
do you come
to idle with me
in these luxurious
and dwindling realms of Aimless Privacy?

Ejoye's commentary: I don't know why, but I've been obsessed with this poem for at least 6 months. I've probably read it over 100 times. I keep coming back to it like I used to go back to scripture thinking I hadn't quite "gotten it yet" (as if we ever "get" scripture...or poetry...or ourselves...or each other). The last 7 lines never cease to amaze or implicate.

I LOVE poetry. This is worship and gift.