Late Night Poetry: Leonard Cohen

It’s time once again for Late Night Poetry here at The Skinny (our motto: Sleep Whenever You Want; It’s Summer, No One Will Notice).

Did you know Leonard Cohen is a published poet as well as songwriter/performer?

I found this out from no less an authority than the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. (BTW: I love that ‘modern’ qualifier in the title. There are collections with that name starting in the *1950s*.)

Here is one of his poems. As far as I know, it isn’t set to music, nor was intended to be.
I think it’s charming. What do you think?

You Do Not Have to Love Me

You do not have to love me
just because
you are all the women
I have ever wanted
I was born to follow you
every night
while I am still
the many men who love you

I meet you at a table
I take your fist between my hands
in a solemn taxi
I wake up alone
my hand on your absense
in Hotel Discipline

I wrote all these songs for you
I burned red and black candles
shaped like a man and a woman
I married the smoke
of two pyramids of sandalwood
I prayed for you
I prayed that you would love me
and that you would not love me


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