The poetry of "Ten New Songs"

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
Tchocolatl
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Re: The poetry of "Ten New Songs"

Post by Tchocolatl » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:49 pm

The place is empty, the lights are out. Here I am, standing alone.

Call it despair. I mean the song. Call it closet optimist, who sings hope in the most desperate situation. I still mean the song.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Tchocolatl
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:07 pm

Re: The poetry of "Ten New Songs"

Post by Tchocolatl » Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:01 pm

Still "crowded" and cold here.

Sweep some dust off a seat, sit comfortably in the dim light of the empty and the silence.

Look at this. And listen to The Land of Plenty after, if you are in danger to seek in despair forever.

http://www.nextfloor-film.com/
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Dagmaman
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:22 am

Re: The poetry of "Ten New Songs"

Post by Dagmaman » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:43 am

I think that each paragraph describe a different person In the first paragraph he speak about a king.
In the second paragraph he speak about a homeless man. In the third paragraph he speak about a alcoholic
In the fourth paragraph he speak about sick man
And in all other paragraphs he explain how dead of each one individually affecting people that they know
I think that Narator voice supposed to be at God's voice,
which is confirmed in the last paragraph
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Diane
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Re: The poetry of "Ten New Songs"

Post by Diane » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:08 pm

A very interesting convergence of ideas, Dagmaman. Thanks for dropping by with your insight on Land of Plenty.
Tchocolatl wrote:Call it closet optimist, who sings hope in the most desperate situation. I still mean the song.
I imagine God is indeed a closet optimist.
Magy
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:51 pm

Re: The poetry of "Ten New Songs"

Post by Magy » Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:59 pm

Hello,

I have a question about the image of the cut lip that comes back in "the rivers dark" but also in "Blue alert" in another context.
Is it a biblical punishment?
Magy
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:51 pm

Re: The poetry of "Ten New Songs"

Post by Magy » Mon Aug 30, 2021 12:59 am

Babylon has different meanings in the poems of LC.

Babylon is the place where the soul is incarnated. Our world. Where the connection to the divine can be lost.

« And I did forget
My holy song:
And I had no strength
In Babylon. »
(By the Rivers Dark),

It is also the sacred prostitute of the temples of Ishtar:

« The Great Red Whore of Babylon
Forget the Grace
Enjoy the Lace »
(Fragments from a Journal / Stranger Music)

« You were the Whore and the Beast of Babylon « 
(Is this what you wanted)

But it is also the key to redemption.

In "By the Rivers Dark" the protagonist glimpses through the divine his freed heart, liberate by love,and his wedding ring, the promise of a sacred marriage.

"And he covered me,
And I saw within,
My lawless heart
And my wedding ring, "

But he panics and loses the connection to the divine.

"By the rivers dark
I panicked on.
I belonged at last
To Babylon "

It is therefore no longer able to celebrate the sacred union.

"Then he struck my heart
With a deadly force,
And he said, 'This heart:
It is not yours.'

And he gave the wind
My wedding ring:
And he circled us
With everything. »

The idea of the sacred marriage with Babylon is already found in the song "Last Year's Man « 
Thanks this union the return to paradise and unity with the Soul and the divine is possible.

« And when we fell together all our flesh was like a veil
that I had to draw aside to see
the serpent eat its tail. "

It is in memory of this mystery that LC sings in « By the Rivers Dark »

"Be the truth unsaid
And the blessing gone,
If I forget
My Babylon."
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mat james
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Location: Australia

Re: The poetry of "Ten New Songs"

Post by mat james » Sat Sep 04, 2021 9:11 am

« And when we fell together all our flesh was like a veil
that I had to draw aside to see
the serpent eat its tail. "

It is in memory of this mystery that LC sings in « By the Rivers Dark »
Hi Magy,
we are on a very similar page as to how we read this work of Leonard's.
I follow on from your ideas with these thoughts below.
Thanks for singing along ;-)

"...and when we fell together all our flesh was like a veil that I had to draw aside...";
and what do we see when the veil is drawn?
or, more accurately, when the veil is drawn aside...where are we viewing from?

These lines of Leonard's take me to Eden's first Tree, the forbidden fruit. And more importantly those lines make me look for that other Tree in the garden. ???
(That first, fleshy-forbidden-fruit-tree is all Mortal.)
The other tree is all Eternal.

When the veil (of ignorance) is drawn aside...the view changes.
and what are we ignorant of?
ignorant of our ability to see from an everlasting position once we have climbed the other tree, the eternal Tree which allows us to view things, like this little life, from an everlasting angle.
The metaphoric "fall" then, in my very biased opinion, is the fall from this "position" and "when we fell together" as the song says, into unity, we saw the serpent eat it's tail (symbol of viewing eternity) ....we saw from that eternal position.

The Problem of The Fall:
Re-focusing on the first tree only obscures our view of (and from) that other (eternal) tree.

The "veil" obscures the eternal view of life.
So tree 1 focus' on the good and bad of fleshy-mortal things, and, it isa very absorbing view too!
And tree 2 focus' on and from another perspective, the eternal.
And that "veil" symbolizes our obscured way of viewing those divinely bigger and better things, so to speak.
Our ignorance, as the Buddha might say, is the ignorance of the 2nd Tree's existence.
The veil obscures the view and causes doubt; and Reason (Shaitan/Satan) argues even that veil out of existence; let alone the eternal, everlasting view beyond the "veil".

As the story goes:
"...eat there-of and you shall surely die.." or at least your belief in the possibility of viewing beyond the veil goes out the "window" and dies a death of denial.

...and we are taught to fall; we are taught to...
draw the veil between the two trees of Eden; the two ways of being , mortal or immortal...but which direction do you draw?
open?
shut?
...lost or found...
That is what I get out of Leonard's beautifully torturous melancholic songs ...his "wounded Dawns" and broken hallelujahs.


...
thanks for the magic, Magi ;-)
MatbellybuttongazerJ
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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