Tribute to Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) —by Jinny Batterson
(Leonard Cohen, peripatetic Canadian poet and singer-songwriter, died in Los Angeles on November 7, 2016, a bit too early to absorb the results of the latest U.S. election. I’m convinced, though, that his spirit still prowls. This short tribute incorporates snippets of several of Cohen’s best-known lyrics: Anthem, You Want it Darker, Suzanne, The Story of Isaac, and Democracy) For a picture of Cohen near the end of his long life, see:
The bells that still will ring
These post-election days are ringing darker.
Though some the victor’s fulsome praises sing,
For others, the rifts are getting starker.
I saw him only once, we both were young.
In an Expo coffeehouse near Suzanne’s river,
He curled his raspy voice, lips, teeth and tongue
Around the credo that we lean toward love forever.
Bombastic tweets of blunt and bloodied hammering
May make hate and fear here for a time hold sway.
Yet, through the crack in everything
Democracy’s still coming to the U.S.A.