“To men, Leonard [Cohen] said: be tender, and for want of fidelity, be true. To women, he whispered: be who you want to be, we will love you anyway.” Francine Pelletier

Leonard Cohen allowed us to believe in love at a time when consecrated unions—monogamy, partnership for life, the institution of marriage—were falling apart. When women refused to be men’s property, a notion legalized through marriage, romantic partnerships had to be stripped down and given a new form. But we couldn’t turn our backs on a centuries-old tradition without smashing a few pots. Cohen, saviour, explored the maelstrom with passion; he re-sanctified what had been desecrated:

If you want a lover
I’ll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I’ll wear a mask for you



From Love at Half Mast by Francine Pelletier. Adapted from the French by Emily Wilson, Deborah Ostrovsky and Francine Pelletier (Maisonneuve: Jan. 3, 2017)

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 Jan 14, 2017.

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