Recommended Reading – “Leonard Cohen Was Right: Songs & Years Of Wisdom Examined”

Inspired by the slogan,”Leonard Cohen Was Right,” seen on the jacket worn by Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson of TG and Coil (for more about this jacket, see “Leonard Cohen Was Right” – Peter Christopherson’s Jacket Slogan Resonates), Luke Turner of Quietus has collected brief essays from seven other staff writers that look at Cohen’s words for their insight and sustenance. Turner explains

Such clear words [Leonard Cohen Was Right] about a man who never was clear, whose music has danced into our ears for decades now, a man who has been at once a shaman, a poet, a wit and a monk, a lover of many, a singer who cannot really sing. Cohen’s poetry, made all the more clear by the deceptive simplicity of his backing music, have been one of the few constants and guides in my own life for approaching a quarter of a century. For those who have gone deep, as our writers reveal below, the truths that can be gleaned from his writing are at once universal and political as well as deeply personal – few have written so well about sex and death that their songs are crammed with some of the finest poetry of the late 20th century: “life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn”, and so on.


While the submissions vary in quality and the collection is hardly exhaustive (“Songs & Years Of Wisdom Examined” might seem to indicate a comprehensive analysis of Cohen’s work; this is, instead, seven pieces, plus Turner’s introduction, each of which covers at most a few phrases from Cohen’s corpus), all the offerings are thoughtful, worthwhile reads, some are personally moving, and at least a couple approximate brilliance. The entire article can be accessed at Leonard Cohen Was Right: Songs & Years Of Wisdom Examined by Luke Turner (Quietus: Nov 11, 2016).

Credit Due Department: Photo by Chris Carter

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Feb 23, 2016.

Leave a Reply