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In memory of Leonard Cohen

Contributor : Chetan Mahajan

Only Cohen could write a tribute worthy of Cohen. Nobody else has his gift. His poetry made me weep, and laugh. He took the irony and the cynicism, the wit and the sorrow – the essence of an entire life – and captured it in a few spare, masterful lines.

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Cohen is known for many things, but it was always his poetry that touched my soul.

With the famous blue raincoat – torn at the shoulder – I could see the sad, lonely man at the train station. When Jesus was revealed, I could see him for what he was, and he “sank beneath your wisdom like a stone”. And when you thanked your brother, your killer for the trouble he took from her eyes, which you thought was there for good so you never tried – I understood the meaning of regret.

And now Cohen’s left, reminding us of everything we cannot control. It begins with our families and soon it comes down to our souls.

But he has not left us incomplete. He has left us left us whole and with beauty, and this time he has bid us so long and gone to Marianne. But he has left us his words, and a greater gift I do not know.

(The writer is a founder of the Himalayan Writing Retreat, and a huge Leonard Cohen fan)

Key Facts

Leonard Cohen was a Jewish Canadian singer, songwriter and novelist who was also known for the brooding, tragic quality of his lyrics and music. You can learn more about him simply by googling him, and reading his Wikipedia page. But to truly understand the man, read https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/17/leonard-cohen-makes-it-darker

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