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  2. Leonard Cohen: Poems
  3. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

They left it in the middle of the road. They went away. They crossed the river. But the head followed them. They climbed up a tree full of fruit to see whether it would go past. The head stopped at the foot of the tree and asked them for some fruit. So the men shook the tree. The head went to get the fruit. Then it asked for some more. So the men shook the tree so that the fruit fell into the water.

The head said it couldn't get the fruit from there. So the men threw the fruit a long way to make the head go a long way to get it so they could go. While the head was getting the fruit the men got down from the tree and went on. The head came back and looked at the tree and didn't see anybody so went on rolling down the road. The men had stopped to wait to see whether the head would follow them. They saw the head come rolling. They ran. They got to their hut they told the others that the head was rolling after them and to shut the door.

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All the huts were closed tight. When it got there the head commanded them to open the doors. The owners would not open them because they were afraid. So the head started to think what it would turn into. If it turned into water they would drink it. If it turned into earth they would walk on it. If it turned into a house they would live in it. If it turned into a steer they would kill it and eat it. If it turned into a cow they would milk it. If it turned into a bean they would cook it. If it turned into the sun When men were cold it would heat them.

If it turned into rain the grass would grow and the animals would crop it. So it thought, and it said, "I will turn into the moon. The head cried. It called out, "At least give me my two balls of twine. It took them and threw them into the sky. It asked them to throw it a little stick too to roll the thread around so it could climb up.

Then it said, "I can climb, I am going to the sky. The men opened the doors right away. The head went on climbing. The men shouted, "You going to the sky, head? As soon as it got to the Sun it turned into the Moon. Toward evening the Moon was white, it was beautiful. And the men were surprised to see that the head had turned into the Moon. Hymn to Dionysos O Insewn God—born from Zeus' thigh— some folk say in Drakanon, some in windy Ikaros, others say in Naxos, or by the deep-eddying river Alpheos, pregnant Semele bore you to thunder-loving Zeus.

Bereaved of all, I went abroad. Bereavement in their death to feel. Besides the Autumn poets sing. Besides this May. Best Gains — must have the Losses' Test. Best Things dwell out of Sight. Best Witchcraft is Geometry. Betrothed to Righteousness might be. Better — than Music! For I — who heard it. Between My Country — and the Others.

Between the form of Life and Life. Bind me — I still can sing. Birthday of but a single pang. Blazing in Gold and quenching in Purple. Bless God, he went as soldiers. Bliss is the plaything of the child. Bloom — is Result — to meet a Flower. Bloom upon the Mountain — stated. Blossoms will run away.

Bound — a trouble. Bring me the sunset in a cup. Brother of Ingots — Ah Peru. But little Carmine hath her face. By a departing light. By a flower — By a letter. By Chivalries as tiny. By homely gift and hindered Words. By my Window have I for Scenery. By such and such an offering. Candor — my tepid friend. Circumference thou Bride of Awe. Civilization — spurns — the Leopard!

Climbing to reach the costly Hearts. Cocoon above! Cocoon below! Color — Caste — Denomination. Come show thy Durham Breast. Come slowly — Eden! Conferring with myself. Confirming All who analyze. Conjecturing a Climate. Conscious am I in my Chamber. Consulting summer's clock. Contained in this short Life.


Cosmopolities without a plea. Could — I do more — for Thee. Could Hope inspect her Basis. Could I — then — shut the door. Could I but ride indefinite. Could live — did live. Could mortal lip divine. Could that sweet Darkness where they dwell. Count not that far that can be had.

Crisis is a Hair. Crisis is sweet and yet the Heart. Crumbling is not an instant's Act. Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat? Dear March — Come in. Death is a Dialogue between. Death is like the insect. Death is potential to that Man. Death is the supple Suitor. Death leaves Us homesick, who behind. Death sets a Thing significant. Death warrants are supposed to be. Death's Waylaying not the sharpest. Declaiming Waters none may dread.

Defrauded I a Butterfly. Delayed till she had ceased to know. Delight — becomes pictorial. Delight is as the flight. Delight's Despair at setting. Denial — is the only fact. Departed — to the Judgment. Deprived of other Banquet. Despair's advantage is achieved. Dew — is the Freshet in the Grass. Did life's penurious length. Did Our Best Moment last. Did the Harebell loose her girdle. Did We abolish Frost. Did we disobey Him? Did you ever stand in a Cavern's Mouth. Distance — is not the Realm of Fox. Distrustful of the Gentian. Do People moulder equally. Dominion lasts until obtained.

Don't put up my Thread and Needle. Doom is the House without the Door. Doubt Me!

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My Dim Companion! Down Time's quaint stream. Drab Habitation of Whom? Drama's Vitallest Expression is the Common Day. Dreams — are well — but Waking's better. Dreams are the subtle Dower. Dropped into the Ether Acre. Drowning is not so pitiful. Dust is the only Secret. Dying at my music! Dying in the night! To be afraid of thee. Each Life Converges to some Centre. Each Scar I'll keep for Him.

Each Second is the last. Each that we lose takes part of us;. Eden is that old-fashioned House. Elijah's Wagon knew no thill. Elizabeth told Essex. Elysium is as far as to. Embarrassment of one another. Empty my Heart, of Thee. Endanger it, and the Demand. Ended, ere it begun. Endow the Living — with the Tears. Escape is such a thankful Word. Escaping backward to perceive. Essential Oils — are wrung.

Estranged from Beauty — none can be. Except the Heaven had come so near. Except the smaller size. Except to Heaven, she is nought. Exhilaration — is within. Exhilaration is the Breeze. Expanse cannot be lost. Expectation — is Contentment. Experience is the Angled Road. Experiment escorts us last. Experiment to me. Extol thee — could I? Then I will. Exultation is the going. Facts by our side are never sudden. Fairer through Fading — as the Day.

Faith — is the Pierless Bridge. Faith is a fine invention. Faithful to the end Amended. Falsehood of Thee could I suppose. Fame is a bee. Fame is a fickle food. Fame is the one that does not stay. Fame is the tint that Scholars leave. Fame of Myself, to justify.

Fame's Boys and Girls, who never die. Far from Love the Heavenly Father. Fate slew Him, but He did not drop. Few, yet enough. Finding is the first Act. Finite — to fail, but infinite to Venture. Fitter to see Him, I may be. Floss won't save you from an Abyss. Flowers — Well — if anybody. Follow wise Orion. For Death — or rather. For each ecstatic instant. For every Bird a Nest.

For largest Woman's Hearth I knew. For this — accepted Breath. Forbidden Fruit a flavor has. Forever — is composed of Nows. Forever at His side to walk. Forever honored by the Tree. The lady with the Amulet. Fortitude incarnate. Four Trees — upon a solitary Acre. Frequently the woods are pink -.

Frigid and sweet Her parting Face. From all the Jails the Boys and Girls. From Blank to Blank. From Cocoon forth a Butterfly. From his slim Palace in the Dust. From Us She wandered now a Year. Funny — to be a Century. Further in Summer than the Birds. Garland for Queens, may be. Gathered into the Earth. Give little Anguish. Given in Marriage unto Thee.

Glass was the Street — in tinsel Peril. Glee — The great storm is over. Glory is that bright tragic thing. Glowing is her Bonnet. Go not too near a House of Rose. Go slow, my soul, to feed thyself. Go tell it — What a Message. Go thy great way! Go travelling with us! God gave a Loaf to every Bird. God is a distant — stately Lover. God is indeed a jealous God. God made a little Gentian. God made no act without a cause. God permits industrious Angels. Going to Heaven! Going to Him! Happy letter! Good Morning — Midnight. Good Night! Which put the Candle out? Good night, because we must.

Good to hide, and hear 'em hunt! Gratitude — is not the mention. Great Caesar! Great Streets of silence led away. Grief is a Mouse. Growth of Man — like Growth of Nature. Guest am I to have. Had I known that the first was the last. Had I not seen the Sun. Had I not This, or This, I said. Had I presumed to hope. Had this one Day not been. Had we known the Ton she bore. Had we our senses. Have any like Myself. Have you got a Brook in your little heart. He ate and drank the precious Words. He forgot — and I — remembered. He fought like those Who've nought to lose. He found my Being — set it up.

He fumbles at your Soul. He gave away his Life. He is alive, this morning. He lived the Life of Ambush. He outstripped Time with but a Bout. He parts Himself — like Leaves. He preached upon Breadth till it argued him narrow. He put the Belt around my life. He scanned it — staggered. He strained my faith. He told a homely tale. He touched me, so I live to know. He was my host — he was my guest. He was weak, and I was strong — then. He went by sleep that drowsy route. He who in Himself believes.

We will forget him! Heart, not so heavy as mine. Heaven — is what I cannot reach! Heaven has different Signs — to me. Heaven is so far of the Mind. Heavenly Father — take to thee. Her — last Poems. Her breast is fit for pearls. Her face was in a bed of hair. Her final Summer was it. Her Grace is all she has. Her little Parasol to lift.

Her Losses make our Gains ashamed. Her smile was shaped like other smiles. Her sovereign People. Her spirit rose to such a height. Her Sweet turn to leave the Homestead. Her sweet Weight on my Heart a Night. Here, where the Daisies fit my Head. Herein a Blossom lies. High from the earth I heard a bird. His Bill an Auger is. His Bill is clasped — his Eye forsook.

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His Cheek is his Biographer. His Feet are shod with Gauze. His Heart was darker than the starless night. His little Hearse like Figure.

Leonard Cohen: Poems

His Mansion in the Pool. His Mind like Fabrics of the East. His mind of man, a secret makes. His oriental heresies. His voice decrepit was with Joy. Hope is a strange invention. Hope is a subtle Glutton. Hope is the thing with feathers. Houses — so the Wise Men tell me. How brittle are the Piers. How dare the robins sing. How destitute is he. How far is it to Heaven? How firm Eternity must look.

How fits his Umber Coat. How fleet — how indiscreet an one. How fortunate the Grave. How good his Lava Bed. How happy I was if I could forget. How happy is the little Stone. How Human Nature dotes. How know it from a Summer's Day? How lonesome the Wind must feel Nights. How many Flowers fail in Wood. How many schemes may die. How many times these low feet staggered.

How much of Source escapes with thee. How much the present moment means. How News must feel when travelling. How noteless Men, and Pleiads, stand. How ruthless are the gentle. How sick — to wait — in any place — but thine. How slow the Wind. How soft a Caterpillar steps. How soft this Prison is. How still the Bells in Steeples stand.

Dear Future Generations: Sorry

How the old Mountains drip with Sunset. How the Waters closed above Him. How well I knew Her not. I am afraid to own a Body. I am alive — I guess. I am ashamed — I hide. I asked no other thing. I bet with every Wind that blew. I breathed enough to take the Trick. I bring an unaccustomed wine. I Came to buy a smile — today. I can wade Grief. I can't tell you — but you feel it. I cannot be ashamed. I cannot buy it — 'tis not sold. I cannot dance upon my Toes. I cannot live with You. I cannot meet the Spring unmoved. I cannot see my soul but know 'tis there.

I cannot want it more. I cautious, scanned my little life. I could bring You Jewels — had I a mind to. I could die — to know. I could not drink it, Sweet. I could not prove the Years had feet. I could suffice for Him, I knew. I cried at Pity — not at Pain. I cross till I am weary. I did not reach Thee. I died for Beauty — but was scarce. I dreaded that first Robin, so. I dwell in Possibility. I envy Seas, whereon He rides. I fear a Man of frugal Speech. I felt a Cleaving in my Mind. I felt a Funeral, in my Brain. I felt my life with both my hands.

I fit for them. I found the words to every thought. I gained it so. I gave myself to Him. I got so I could take his name. I groped for him before I knew. I had a daily Bliss. I had a guinea golden. I had been hungry, all the Years. I had no Cause to be awake. I had no time to Hate.

I had not minded — Walls. I had some things that I called mine. I had the Glory — that will do. I have a Bird in spring. I have a King, who does not speak. I have never seen Volcanoes. I have no Life but this. I haven't told my garden yet. I heard a Fly buzz — when I died. I heard, as if I had no Ear. I held a Jewel in my fingers. I hide myself within my flower. I keep my pledge. I knew that I had gained. I know a place where Summer strives. I know lives, I could miss.

I know of people in the Grave.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I know some lonely Houses off the Road. I know Suspense — it steps so terse. I know that He exists. I know where Wells grow — Droughtless Wells. I learned — at least — what Home could be. I like a look of Agony. I like to see it lap the Miles. I live with Him — I see His face. I lived on Dread. I lost a World — the other day! I made slow Riches but my Gain. I make His Crescent fill or lack. I many times thought Peace had come. I meant to find Her when I came. I meant to have but modest needs. I measure every Grief I meet.

I met a King this afternoon! I never felt at Home — Below. I never hear that one is dead. I never hear the word escape. I never lost as much but twice. I never saw a Moor. I never told the buried gold. I noticed People disappeared. I often passed the village. I pay — in Satin Cash. I play at Riches — to appease.

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I prayed, at first, a little Girl. I read my sentence — steadily. I reason, Earth is short. I reckon — when I count it all. I robbed the Woods. I rose — because He sank. I saw no Way — The Heavens were stitched. I saw that the Flake was on it. I saw the wind within her. I see thee better — in the Dark. I see thee clearer for the Grave. I send Two Sunsets. I send you a decrepit flower.

I shall keep singing! I shall know why — when Time is over. I shall not murmur if at last. I should have been too glad, I see. I should not dare to be so sad. I should not dare to leave my friend. I showed her Heights she never saw. I sing to use the Waiting. I sometimes drop it, for a Quick. I started Early — Took my Dog. I stepped from Plank to Plank. I stole them from a Bee. I sued the News — yet feared — the News. I suppose the time will come. I taste a liquor never brewed. I tend my flowers for thee. I think I was enchanted.

I think just how my shape will rise. I think that the Root of the Wind is Water. I think the Hemlock likes to stand. I think the longest Hour of all. I think to Live — may be a Bliss. I thought that nature was enough. I thought the Train would never come. I tie my Hat — I crease my Shawl. I took my Power in my Hand. I took one Draught of Life. I tried to think a lonelier Thing.

I want — it pleaded — All its life. I was a Phoebe — nothing more. I was the slightest in the House. I watched her face to see which way. I watched the Moon around the House. I went to Heaven. I went to thank Her. I worked for chaff and earning Wheat. I would distil a cup. I would not paint — a picture.

I Years had been from Home. I'd rather recollect a setting. I'll clutch — and clutch. I'll send the feather from my Hat! I'll tell you how the Sun rose. I'm ceded — I've stopped being Theirs. I'm Nobody! I'm saying every day. I'm sorry for the Dead — Today. I'm the little Heart's Ease! I'm wife — I've finished that. I've dropped my Brain — My Soul is numb. I've got an arrow here.

I've heard an Organ talk, sometimes. I've known a Heaven, like a Tent. I've none to tell me to but Thee. I've nothing else — to bring, You know. I've seen a Dying Eye. Ideals are the Fairly Oil. If all the griefs I am to have. If any sink, assure that this, now standing. If anybody's friend be dead.

If Blame be my side — forfeit Me. If ever the lid gets off my head. If He dissolve — then. If He were living — dare I ask. If I can stop one Heart from breaking. If I could bribe them by a Rose. If I could tell how glad I was. If I may have it, when it's dead. If I should cease to bring a Rose. If I should die. If I shouldn't be alive. If I'm lost — now. If it had no pencil. If my Bark sink. If Nature smiles — the Mother must. If pain for peace prepares. If recollecting were forgetting.

If she had been the Mistletoe. If the foolish, call them flowers. If this is fading. If those I loved were lost. If What we could — were what we would. If wrecked upon the Shoal of Thought. If you were coming in the Fall. If your Nerve, deny you. Image of Light, Adieu. Immortal is an ample word. Immured in Heaven! Impossibility, like Wine. In Ebon Box, when years have flown. In falling Timbers buried. In lands I never saw — they say.

In many and reportless places. In rags mysterious as these. In snow thou comest.