"So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear."
Happy posthumous birthday, Lenny.
You tried, in your way, to be free. Thank you. Now go join that great gig in the sky. So I wrote a year ago, when Lenny left us. However, the legend lives on - listen for example to How the Light Gets In.
'We Love Leonard Cohen' celebrated his 81st Birthday, and then, for his 82nd and final birthday, Leonard gave us a present. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to last album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. (See also Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker.)
"Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt and malevolent" - Allan Showalter
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Sometimes we choose to wander, sometimes we are chosen to wander, down the dark deserted halls of memory:
'Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream...
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years...
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.'
I share below (without comment...which is a personal act that belongs in the real, not the virtual world), an evolving, far from exhaustive, but from an emotional point-of-view, highly illustrative and authentic selection of my favourite poetry and lyrics...
Many evenings of my youth were spent listening to Radio Caroline's "Personal Top 30s", from 6-9pm and 9pm-midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. My friends and I would write down, swap, be inspired by and gently criticise each others' choices, but none of us ever got round to posting ours in, and our chance vanished into the North Sea with the Mi Amigo in March 1980.
However, since 2008 I have listened almost constantly to Caroline, which plays "Personal Top 15s" every weekday at 10am CET, but again, I've not summoned the nerve to send mine in.
Now online, Proensa's interpretations of the troubadours have enchanted me - though perhaps not some of the dinner party guests on whom I inflicted the vinyl version at various times - for the best part of 30 years.
Is it really as long ago as 1983-85 that I specialised in Medieval Provencal and wrote my dissertation on the amour de loinh of Pierre Vidal? Rupert Gordon and I were the only students at Edinburgh to choose the option in many a year, and having been back in the George Square for the first time since 1985 earlier this year, I wonder whether anyone else has borrowed any of the books since!
The way to love anything is to realise that it might be lost - Gilbert Chesterton
All her features lined up, as ever, to mourn for everything that has passed and all that would come to pass - Monica Ali, Brick Lane, p14
You're the one, as we journey from sun to sun, all the dreams I waited so long for, fly tonight, so long so long - from Frederick, Patti Smith