We’re [men and women are] all in the same boat, we’ve entered into this quarrel, into this cage, union, and extremely ambiguous circumstance together and we’re going to sort it out together. That is why I never thought of myself as a romantic poet because I always was very clear from the beginning that this confrontation involves some serious risks to the versions of oneself … And it’s always been confrontational. Not in an aggressive sense but in an acknowledging sense that there are some profound differences and it involves serious risks and that these risks are really best acknowledged. And I think that’s the tone of most of the stuff and if the love and passion can transgress that mutual acknowledgement then you do have something that takes off, either it’s a song or a poem or the moment. But without that, you’ve got the moon-in-June school of writing–though my stuff gets close to the moon-in-June school of writing, but I think it’s that acknowledgement of the risk that rescues it every time.
From Leonard Cohen by Barbara Gowdy (November 19, 1992 interview published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, ed. Leanna Crouch, Somerville House Publishing 1994).
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted August 2, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.