April 8, 2011

National Poetry Month: These Heroics

My photo - November 2009

In November of 2009 I saw Leonard Cohen in concert.  It was, without exaggeration, a transcendent experience. In his 70s, Cohen was touring for the first time in 15 years, having been swindled out of millions of dollars by his former manager and financial advisers and left with only $150,000 in the bank. 

 I could fill each day of National Poetry Month with Leonard Cohen's poems and song lyrics.  This, from the web site on which this poem appears, sums it up well: "some of his songs are like poems, and some of his poems are like songs; his rebellious, tender, sardonic voice inheres throughout."

My thanks to my friend, Tom, for sending me the link.

These Heroics

If I had a shining head
and people turned to stare at me
in the streetcars;
and I could stretch my body
through the bright water
and keep abreast of fish and water snakes;
if I could ruin my feathers
in flight before the sun;
do you think that I would remain in this room,
reciting poems to you,
and making outrageous dreams
with the smallest movements of your mouth?

- Leonard Cohen

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