Hi Joe and All,
Things have quietened down a bit on this thread, so I will add my opinion to the mix.
I want to be blunt. I want to point out that this book The Flame is as much about Cruz as it is about Cohen.
It oozes "Dark Night" and "Oh Living Flame of Love" by Cruz
...and in my opinion Leonard should have publicly acknowledged this...But he didn't!
Why was he so shy on this point?
I love Leonard and yet I still worry about this ...silence...)
The Lucky Night poem, The Flame.
This song/poem by Leonard Cohen in his book The Flame, is not an original poem, but rather an original translation
of a well known poem by Saint John of the Cross, Dark Night (of the soul).
Cohen has added a verse, verse 5, and by doing this has become one with that great Spanish Mystic.
I suggest, without reserve, that Saint John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz) was Cohen's Mystical Mentor. Much of his poetry/song is heavily influenced by this 16th Century Spanish Poet's mystic "position" as I have suggested often in past postings.
Below is an extract from a piece I wrote on "The Lucky Night!!!!" in the poetry threads.
(extract from The Lucky Night".
Cruz' Dark Night is an 8 verse poem.
Cohen’s “The Lucky Night!!!” is a 9 verse poem.
With 4 verses above and 4 verses below, Cohen places his own totally original verse smack in the middle of his translation as verse 5.
He makes it his poem too.
Interestingly, Cruz wrote about 500 pages explaining the meaning of the first 3 verses of his poem, The Dark Night…and he only got to the end of verse 3! After that there are no more records of how he explained the remaining 5 of the 8 verses. It is odd, but he wrote 2 different books and both books, though very different, only explain the meaning up to the end of verse 3…
Cohen has added his genius to the mix and done a bit of his own explaining by adding that additional 5th verse:
“And then the night commands me
To enter in her side
And be as Adam is to Eve
Before they need divide”
So Cohen has joined Cruz in Cruz' poem; and in a zen-sense has become Cruz, as the archer becomes the arrow.
It is Cohen’s way of saying, perhaps, that the Lovers metaphor (Lover and Beloved) went back to the first couple in his tradition (Genesis); to the original couple when not yet separated, when Eve was yet to be created from Adam's rib.
In this 5th stanza, Cohen makes Eve, metaphorically speaking, Adam’s soul. He is suggesting to Jacob, Solomon and Cruz and anyone else interested (his fans, perhaps) to go back even farther in their Biblical Landscape; right back to the beginning in Eden where the Hebrew G~d caused the soul to separate from Adam. (Eve was made from Adam's rib) Cohen is suggesting to me that that soul/lovers-metaphor goes right back to the beginning…so he adds this new stanza, verse 5, to explain this cognition of his.
( As an aside or an extension; those Psychologists Carl Jung and Eric Neumann would no doubt argue that this then makes the Adam and Eve story a tale of the coming of consciousness, where ego separates from the unconscious via the heart (beneath the rib)..."matters of the heart"...
Cohen sang, “I’m the little Jew who wrote the Bible” and in a way he may be saying that now he has understood this process of metaphors and parables and such,contemplating the Biblical Stories on this level, he feels at one with all the authors of his tribal text; both the Jewish/Hebrew authors (and some Buddhist, Hindu and Christian authors also), and these Spanish Mystics above.
...his final words to a friend in an email text, “Blessed are the peace makers”…a Jesus quote, as I understand it.
"Blessed are the peace-makers"...
and the next line is... "for they shall see G~d"...
Perhaps he was after all (with rib healed and "Beloved and Lover" re-united) “the little Jew who wrote the Bible”.... with his own Eve (his soul) whispering "sweetly" to him of her divine adventures...
... while tucked in again, safely, back beside his heart...
...I hope so...
O Living Flame of Love...
The above piece is an edited extract from the thread linked below.
(https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... 10&t=38376