Leonard Cohen Quotes On Love and Life (Author of Book of Longing)

Leonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist who lived from September 21, 1934, to November 7, 2016. His writings covered topics such as politics, religion, loneliness, depression, sexuality, bereavement, and love. He received inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the highest civilian honor bestowed by the country, Companion of the Order of Canada. He won the ninth Glenn Gould Prize and one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature in 2011.

66 Leonard Cohen Quotes

Leonard Cohen Quotes
  1. “Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore”
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2. “It doesn’t matter what you do because it’s going to happen anyway.”

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3. “Poetry is a verdict, not an occupation.”

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4. “If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.”

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5. “How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?” 

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6. “Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as a secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”

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7. “Dream after dream we all lie in each other’s arms”

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8. “Blessed are you who circled desire with a blade, and the garden with fiery swords, and heaven and earth with a word.”

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9. “All your stupid charities have armed the poor against you.”

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10. “In the broken places, the light shines through.”

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11. “I stopped stopping and I stopped starting, and I allowed myself to be crushed by ignorance.”

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12. “There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

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13. “The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.”

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14. “We are so lightly here. It is in love we are made. In love we disappear.”

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15. “The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.”

16. “When we are touched by a song, it is because the artist cannot hide himself.”

17. “Games are nature’s most beautiful creation”

18. “Though I don’t believe, I come to you now, and I lift my doubt to your mercy.”

19. “Blessed be the covenant of love between what is hidden and what is revealed.”

20. “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

21. “Here’s to the few who forgive what you do, and the fewer who don’t even care”

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22. “It is in love that we are made, in love we disappear.”

23. “Refine your longing here, in the small silver music of her preparations, under the low-built shelter of repentance.”

24. “There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn’t.”

25. “Your faith was strong, but you needed proof.”

26. “They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom…for trying to change the system from within”

27. “Your heart opens and of course you’re completely panicked because you’re used to guarding this organ with your life.”

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28. “How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?”

29. “Do not be a magician – be magic!”

30. “We’ve got to learn to love appearances.”

30. “I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”

31. “Forget the perfect offering. Everything is flawed. It’s the cracks that let the Light in.”

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32. “I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”

33. “I’m blackening pages, but I don’t know if it’s writing.”

34. “Nobody goes into a Zen monastery as a tourist.”

35. “You have to keep cracking yourself open or you become a parody of yourself.”

36. “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

leonard cohen quotes on decision making

37. “Never make a decision when you need to pee.”

38. “It’s time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.”

39. “After a while, if you are sufficiently bored or unemployed, you may want to read it from cover to cover.”

40. “I wish I could say everything in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end.” 

41. “We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky.”

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42. “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”

43. “He fastened his collar to the darkness so he couldn’t breathe, and he opened the book in anger to make his payment to the law.”

44. “We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.”

45. “I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.”

leonard cohen work quotes

46. “I want to be paid for my work, not work for my pay.” 

47. “I don’t even hate books anymore.”

48. “I’m just waiting for the miracle to come”

49. “I found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win. You abandon your masterpiece and sink into the real masterpiece.”

50. “When you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you’ve sinned. ”

51. “The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.”

leonard cohen quotes	about happiness

52. “Only one thing made him happy and now that it was gone everything made him happy.”

53. “Let him lie among the strings until there is no hope for his daily strategy, until he cries, I am yours, I am your creature.”

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54. “As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder. ”

55. “Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty .”

56. “To discover the truth in anything that is alien, first dispense with the indispensable in your own vision.”

57. “Blessed is the covenant of love, the covenant of mercy, useless light behind the terror, deathless song in the house of night.”

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58. “It’s hard to hold the hand of anyone who is reaching for the sky just to surrender”

59. “Well I am the one who loves changing from nothing to one.”

60. “Please make me empty, if I’m empty then I can receive, if I can receive it means it comes from somewhere outside of me, if it comes from outside of me I’m not alone! I cannot bear this loneliness. Above all it is loneliness.”

leonard cohen  failure quote

61. “My interest in this pack of failures betrays my character.”

62. “Blessed are you who speaks to the unworthy.”

63. “I’ve seen the nations rise and fall. I’ve heard their stories, heard them all, but love’s the only engine of survival.”

64. “Everything has a crack in it; that’s how the light gets in.”

65. “It is easy to display a wound, the proud scars of combat. It is hard to show a pimple”

66. “My reputation as a ladies’ man was a joke that caused me to laugh bitterly through the ten thousand nights I spent alone.” 

In the 1950s and the early 1960s, Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist. He released three more folk albums after his debut, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), including Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971), and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974).

His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), was followed by three more albums of folk music: Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971) and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974). Cohen’s 1977 album Death of a Ladies’ Man, co-written and produced by Phil Spector, marked a departure from his earlier minimalist style.

In 1979, Cohen made a comeback with the more conventional Recent Songs, which incorporated jazz, East Asian, and Mediterranean influences with his acoustic style. On his seventh album, Various Positions (1984), Cohen released “Hallelujah,” one of his most well-known songs. Cohen’s transition to synthesized productions began with 1988’s I’m Your Man. Its follow-up, The Future, by Leonard Cohen, was released in 1992 and featured ominous lyrics and allusions to social and political unrest.

Additional Read: Leonard Cohen | Biography, Songs, & Facts

Leonard Cohen Dead at 82

A Must Read: Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows

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