Beautiful Losers - reread

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
User avatar
~greg
Posts: 818
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:26 am

Re: Beautiful Losers - reread

Postby ~greg » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:20 am

William wrote:Greg
Thank heavens this is not hard copy - think of the poor forests
that would fall before your far-fetched verbiage.

God bless
William
"Farfetched", you say.
Perhaps understandably.

William, you complimented me on the brevity of my juvenilia.
And now you insult me on the length of my geezerilia.

So what is it with you and length?
Is it something sexual?

(Or is it, really, about height? )

~~

Ok.
I am now thinking "of the poor forests",
as you instructed.

And the first one I recall
is the one that killed my first dog.

She was killed by a bear trap in the woods.
It didn't get her in the foot though, so she
could chew her leg off, as is the honorable
custom of her kind. No. It got her in the back,
just like Jesse James. I supposed she'd
rolled over on it, to scratch a flea.

That's right. And where'd she get the flea?
From the forest!

And now I am thinking of all the poison ivy,
poison sumac, and poison oak. And all the
monkeys with AIDS. And the snakes. And
all the branches that nearly took my eyes out.
And the symmetrically burning tygers in the
forests of the night, like Hitler's SS, as was
brilliantly written about in Beautiful Losers.

And now I am remembering Hansel and Gretel.
And all those like them.

"The bounty of the forest", indeed.
I can do without it. There is really
very little to celebrate there.
Cate
Posts: 3457
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:27 am

Re: Beautiful Losers - reread

Postby Cate » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:00 am

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

by Mary Oliver
Oh no!
Here I've been following Greg's posts, trying to see what he is seeing, only now to discover he doesn't like the forest.
Hmmm...
Can someone who doesn't like the forest be trusted?
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Greg could be trusted with your kids, your wife (I think), even your car - but can his idea's be trusted?

(just joking of course - it's only my jealousy speaking)
JayS
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:29 pm

Re: Beautiful Losers - reread

Postby JayS » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:52 pm

Manna wrote:It means he has a point.

I just read about the time Edith covered herself in greasy red costume stuff, and wanted to be "other people" with our hero. A few things stand out to me. He asks himself now as he's looking at this memory, why didn't I take this journey with her? He mentions in a less family-friendly way that the memory is sexy to him, and how he said that day, "Take a bath."

He rejected her, and all the while now, he is fantasizing about KT. And Edith sounds like such an interesting person to me. I am less forgiving of our hero in this read.
That part of the book really cut me...how often my own wife will do little things in life for me and I'll walk right past, pre-occupied with myself, oblivious to her feelings until it's too late! Whether or not L.C. meant to reach anyone in that manner, with that tidbit in the story is a different discussion, I suppose. Love that book to death! I can't believe how much bashing it has endured within public literary circles. I really believe, however, that this is a mark of an artist. Consumers, whether consumers of books, music or food, want safe, easily digested material, thus explaining why modern radio is so hollow and devoid of any inspiration and trunk novels become best sellers.
L.C. has always gone out on a limb and been who he is. I will pass Beautiful Losers to my own children and really encourage them to open their minds.
JayS
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:29 pm

Re: Beautiful Losers - reread

Postby JayS » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:00 pm

Yankovic wrote:
~greg wrote:Yes. It's because he's Jewish,
and they write it that way sometimes.
What's the reason for it though? Why is it done that way? What's the story behind it? Is it bad to write God in books?
It is a belief of the Jewish that they are not worthy to spell His full name, lest they tarnish it. In actually saying the word God, many Jewish will instead say: "He who shall not be named" in the same spirit.
User avatar
musicmania
Posts: 1455
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Kildare Town Ireland
Contact:

Re: Beautiful Losers - reread

Postby musicmania » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:07 pm

JayS wrote:
Yankovic wrote:
~greg wrote:Yes. It's because he's Jewish,
and they write it that way sometimes.
What's the reason for it though? Why is it done that way? What's the story behind it? Is it bad to write God in books?
It is a belief of the Jewish that they are not worthy to spell His full name, lest they tarnish it. In actually saying the word God, many Jewish will instead say: "He who shall not be named" in the same spirit.
I've always understood the reason was incase the written piece was to be destroyed that they didn't believe anything with the full name God could be destroyed and therefore write it short hand to alleviate that problem. After finding a similiar explanation on a Google search.

http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasi ... od-G-D.htm
2009 Dublin 2010 Lissadell Katowice LV x2 2012 Ghent x2 Dublin x4 Montreal x2 Toronto x2 2013 New York x2 Brussels Dublin x2

Gwen's Leonard Cohen Journey: http://myleonardcohenjourney.wordpress.com/

"I did my best, it wasn't much"
Cate
Posts: 3457
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:27 am

Re: Beautiful Losers - reread

Postby Cate » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:43 am

I've heard this before but just saw this well put together video this afternoon
G~d is Alive, Magic is Afoot
as posted to youtube by our own Allan Showalter

Return to “Leonard Cohen's poetry and novels”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests