Friday, April 4, 2008

More Leonard Cohen

I’ve just watched Leonard Cohen singing “Hallelujah” his own self over at PJ’s, and I liked it more than I usually like his singing. (Except for “Suzanne”.) So here’s some Leonard Cohen to enjoy in silence.

Beneath My Hands ("In my hands, your small breasts ...") from "The Spice-Box of Earth"

Beneath my hands
your small breasts
are the upturned bellies
of breathing fallen sparrows.

Wherever you move
I hear the sounds of closing wings
of falling wings.

I am speechless
because you have fallen beside me
because your eyelashes
are the spines of tiny fragile animals.

I dread the time
when your mouth
begins to call me hunter.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want to summon
the eyes and hidden mouths
of stone and light and water
to testify against you.

I want them
to surrender before you
the trembling rhyme of your face
from their deep caskets.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want my body and my hands
to be pools
for your looking and laughing.

Poem ("I heard of a man ...") from "Let Us Compare Mythologies"

I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.

If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms like tumours on our lips.
it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside the door.


pj said...

A friend of mine told me that while he admired Leonard Cohen, all of his (Leonard's) songs and poems seem to be calculated to seduce women.

I said, yep! :)

Crimson Rambler said...

mmmmmmm one word. Catullus.

Kate Morningstar said...

PJ, he has written about death, God and religion, and in the early poetry there was a lot about the Holocaust. But I'd have thought he'd be the man who coughed on the staircase, not the one wondering about him.

CR, I'd forgotten Catullus.

MikeF said...

Wow! It's a long time since I read those poems, Kate, and "Beneath My Hands" is one of my very favourites of his.

Phew. Memories! Thank you, Kate!

And thanks again to Fran for introducing us...


gartenfische said...

This is funny, because I've been listening to Leonard Cohen's music lately. I love his song, If It Be Your Will.