Leonard Cohen--Elegy

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
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Leonard Cohen--Elegy

Postby kaka » Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:15 am

I have came across Leonard Cohen poem--Elegy recently. I think that this is like a poem laments on Jesus' crucifiction and ends with affirmation of his existence in the end. Am i right? Please leave some comments of what you think about this poem. I am a starter in reading poetry. Please come and enlight me.. ^O^


Do not look for him
In brittle mountain streams:
They are too cold for any god;
And do not examine the angry rivers
For shreds of his soft body
Or turn the shore stones for his blood;
But in the warm salt ocean
He is descending through cliffs
Of slow green water
And the hovering coloured fish
Kiss his snow-bruised body
And build their secret nests
In his fluttering winding-sheet.
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Re: Leonard Cohen--Elegy

Postby bbelew » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:20 am

While I find that the allusions to Jesus Christ are strong in Cohen's poem, "Elegy," I think that they are just that, allusions. Cohen is tapping our collective knowledge of Christian mythology to speak about something smaller and more personal. I find that Cohen's "god" is a foil to the Romantic notion of god, such as the deity described by Coleridge in "This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison," and it contradicts the common Christian view that god resides in all things--even "brittle mountain streams." That distinction or separation from Christian mythology is important as it establishes that Cohen's "god" is a different kind of being. A being whose body is subject to the cold and the abuses of an "angry river," even as a god, not a god in a man's body.

Brian Belew
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Re: Leonard Cohen--Elegy

Postby LY24 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:45 am

I know this poem seems to imply that man is Orpheus.

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