“I wanted to be that kind of minor poet whose book – whose song – would be found by somebody like myself and cherished in some kind of way… The chain that binds the generations one to another would be secure. I would just live through that kind of discovery.” Leonard Cohen

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I always had secret lights in my own mental or emotional development. Like, there was a poet named Humbert Wolfe that nobody had ever heard of — his books I discovered in a second-hand bookstore — that I loved through the years. I guess my ambition as a writer was to be one of those writers, to be a minor poet. I don’t think I ever had ambition to be a major poet. I thought major poets were people like Homer and Dante and Shakespeare whom I really couldn’t get into — I couldn’t embrace their work. It was too grand for me; it didn’t seem to invite me into it. I was more comfortable with minor poets, with minor emotions, with failed love affairs, and sweet observations about irrelevancies. Those were the things that I was attracted to and, I guess, I wanted to be that kind of minor poet whose book — whose song — would be found by somebody like myself and cherished in some kind of way. And, so, the lineage would continue. The chain that binds the generations one to another would be secure. I would just live through that kind of discovery.

 

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s The Future Interview by Bob Mackowitz. Transcript from a radio special produced by Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992. The transcript was prepared by Judith Fitzgerald.

The Leonard Cohen Reading List

Poems by Humbert Wolfe is the latest entry to the Leonard Cohen Reading List, a compilation of books admired by the Canadian singer-songwriter.

All entries in the Leonard Cohen Reading List can be found at

The Original Leonard Cohen Reading List

 

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 May 9, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

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