influences on leonard?

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
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mat james
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influences on leonard?

Postby mat james » Sun May 28, 2006 5:35 am

It seems to me that there are influences of the poem "Dark Night of the Soul" by San Juan de la Cruz on Leonard's version of "Undertow".
That mystical undercurrent of moving out through the melancholy of ones own soul through the dark night and into some form of union with the infinite.

"On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings.....
...without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart....
....Oh night that guided me...

I often find myself reflecting on the poetry of San Juan and Solomon, when I listen to Leonard.
Last edited by mat james on Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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Postby Tchocolatl » Mon May 29, 2006 4:30 am

I can see what you mean, but in Undertow it is not the night that leads, but the ocean, although all this began in the air of the night it continues in the water and finished on the ground. It is not all in the air of the night (and the night of the soul).

Nice poetry. Could you bring some more (in other poetry thread I guess).
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Postby mat james » Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:09 am

Tchocolatl,
The second verse emphasises his position (frame of mind)
" I set out one night,
but I did not know "

This unknowing is the thing that creates/is the dark night, a great springboard into the mystic. of seas and shores and waiting with a begging bowl.
" I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands." Tagore.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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Postby Tchocolatl » Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:15 am

Fill me, feel me. Yep! :D With Love of God, of course. Ey! I don't take responsibility for any other (mis)understandings. :shock:

So. That does not mean also an acknowledgment (I like this word - so full of consonnants for nothing) of your previous statement.
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AM Klein and Leonard

Postby humanponysss2000 » Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:04 am

Call For Papers - A.M. Klein Conference

A.M. Klein is increasingly recognized as a writer whose engagement with language and history speaks powerfully to the issues of the contemporary world. A Jewish thinker and community leader, Klein was also a modernist seeking innovative forms of poetic _expression. Since the symposium organized in 1974 by Seymour Mayne at the University of Ottawa, there has been no event entirely dedicated to his writing. The publication of important scholarly editions of Klein's writing over the last twenty years has created the possibilities for new appreciation of his work. To hold a conference in Montreal—the city that Klein was so passionately attached to—seems appropriate at this moment in the life of Canadian literature, of the city of Montreal, and of Jewish diasporic history.



Papers are welcomed on all aspects of Klein's work. Some themes are suggested below but they are not to be considered restrictive.



POSSIBLE THEMES

--Klein and Jewish thought. -- the idea of the Diaspora.

--Jerusalem

--Montreal

--immigrant writing

--relation to French Canada and the French language

--influence on Leonard Cohen and other writers

--his treatment by Mordecai Richler

--the Hebrew and Yiddish languages

--influence on poetic forms

--relations with F.R. Scott and P.K. Page

--innovative poetic forms

--relation to modernism and postmodernism

--reflections on Jewish history and tradition

--work as a translator and critic of translations

–translations of Klein’s work into French and other languages



Please send the abstracts to: simon@alcor.concordia.ca and ravv@videotron.ca

Mailing address: Sherry Simon, Études françaises, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve, Montreal H3G 1M8



Deadline for submissions: September 15, 2006

Please submit your theme, a 250-word abstract, your affiliation and a bibliography of your own work including two or three relevant recent publications.
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Postby lizzytysh » Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:16 pm

This looks very interesting. I look forward to the day when I see such an announcement regarding Leonard's work. In the meantime, I can't help but wonder if Leonard will have the time or inclination to write a paper for this or at least attend and contribute in other ways. It seems like he would, but then with his full-to-overflowing plate already, who knows?

It would seem that you'll be writing something, however, HumanPony... a wide range of interesting topics already and I have no doubt but what you could write on something not mentioned. Do you intend to do anything on it ~ write and/or attend? If you do, at 250 words, I hope you'll share your writing [abstract] on him with us here.

~ Lizzy
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Postby humanponysss2000 » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:55 am

lizzytysh wrote:This looks very interesting. I look forward to the day when I see such an announcement regarding Leonard's work. In the meantime, I can't help but wonder if Leonard will have the time or inclination to write a paper for this or at least attend and contribute in other ways. It seems like he would, but then with his full-to-overflowing plate already, who knows?

It would seem that you'll be writing something, however, HumanPony... a wide range of interesting topics already and I have no doubt but what you could write on something not mentioned. Do you intend to do anything on it ~ write and/or attend? If you do, at 250 words, I hope you'll share your writing [abstract] on him with us here.

~ Lizzy

Hi Lizzy

I'm not planning to write anything on Klein and Cohen -- it would involve a lot of research, reading or re-reading Klein, and also trying to sound like an academic. Too much else going on, but this does sound like a worthwhile conference.

I'm still holding out for the BEAUTIFUL LOSERS GATHERING! More fun, and it could repeat every year!

Sorry for the quick, belated response: my cybertime is very limited these days!

All the best!
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Postby lizzytysh » Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:45 pm

Hi HumanPony ~

When you say you're holding out for the Beautiful Losers Gathering, are you saying you're holding out for the Berlin Event!?! Or the following year in Edmunton? Doesn't really matter which ~ it'd be great if you can come to either or better, both.

Yes ~ it does look worthwhile. I commented elsewhere here [News on Blue Alert section, I believe] that a particular writing would be something I could imagine being submitted for such a conference ~ except I'd forgotten about Klein :wink: . Ah well.

Yes ~ it sounds like it would be a project. So, you're not considering attending, either?

All the best to you,
Lizzy
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Anything is possible

Postby humanponysss2000 » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:59 am

in the realm of travel! Especially when you're a pony...

Meanwhile though, I have my own book to promote

http://lulu.com/diamondback



We're all in this together after all. :P
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Postby lizzytysh » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:28 pm

Anything is possible

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

in the realm of travel! Especially when you're a pony...
:lol: ~ True :wink: .

Anything is possible

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

in the realm of travel!
Both directions... positive and negative, unfortunately. Just ask me [NOT a serious suggestion :wink: ] ~ I'm going through it right now with airlines :shock: .

I hope you can find a way ~ or a path, a pony path ~ to make it.

If you keep this up about your book, I may have to buy a copy :lol: . I have NO doubt that it will be interesting reading :D . Thanks for the reminder :wink: .

~ Lizzy
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Postby humanponysss2000 » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:47 am

Yes, I was hoping you might say that! Meanwhile, you could always ask your library to order a copy!

It would be great to be in Berlin -- I was there once in 1995 for a Stones concert

HP
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Sun Jun 18, 2006 3:34 pm

Ah, thanks for offering up the HP abbreviation... much appreciated :) ~
It would be great to be in Berlin -- I was there once in 1995 for a Stones concert.
With the way they keep going like the Energizer bunnies, seeing them there again is still possible :lol: .

I'm a buy-the-book-myself type, so I can write in the margins or wherever, at will. I've quit dog-earing 'important' books, altogether, and pretty much all the others, too. Don't even do it with 'important' magazines, like The Word that I recently got. Wouldn't consider doing it to Book of Longing... and haven't written a thing in it so far, either. The pristine is nice. However, asking the library to order yours is a GREAT idea, even so. I'll do that! Can you give me the ISPN number, or whatever I'll need to most efficiently accomplish that, please? Thanks, HP.

~ Lizzy
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Postby humanponysss2000 » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:42 am

lizzytysh wrote:Ah, thanks for offering up the HP abbreviation... much appreciated :) ~
It would be great to be in Berlin -- I was there once in 1995 for a Stones concert.
With the way they keep going like the Energizer bunnies, seeing them there again is still possible :lol: .

I'm a buy-the-book-myself type, so I can write in the margins or wherever, at will. I've quit dog-earing 'important' books, altogether, and pretty much all the others, too. Don't even do it with 'important' magazines, like The Word that I recently got. Wouldn't consider doing it to Book of Longing... and haven't written a thing in it so far, either. The pristine is nice. However, asking the library to order yours is a GREAT idea, even so. I'll do that! Can you give me the ISPN number, or whatever I'll need to most efficiently accomplish that, please? Thanks, HP.

~ Lizzy

About the ISBN number... there seems to be some confusion going on about that. One was assigned, but it recently vanished. Yes, I will take care of that and get back to you soon!

Thank you for being so nice and interested!
HPSSS
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Postby lizzytysh » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:40 pm

Whoops ~ ISBN :lol: . Thanks, HPSSS ~ I appreciate your letting me know. How odd that it should just disappear. Figures, doesn't it :roll: ? Guess they'll just have to assign it a new one :idea: !!


~ Lizzy
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Leonard, Zbigniev and Thucydides

Postby humanponysss2000 » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:06 pm

Back in the days when I first met Leonard, e.g. 1977, I owned a collection by the Polish poet Zbiegniev Herbert. Leonard noticed it on my shelf one day, and opened it to one of his favourite poems, "Why the Classics."

Over the years, I've often thought about this poem, and why it was one of Leonard's favourites.

William Hirsh writes in the Washington Post of September 19, 2004 (reprinted in the PEN newsletter):

Poet's Choice

I attended an event last month in New York City sponsored by the PEN American Center and entitled "State of Emergency: Unconventional Readings." PEN believes that it is urgently necessary to review the USA Patriot Act and the full range of anti-terrorism laws and orders enacted since Sept. 11, 2001. The participants in the reading all concurred that these governmental measures compromise core American values and put us on the wrong side of international laws that we have long promoted. Freedom of expression is jeopardized. I was struck by the fact that two of the 15 readers, Don DeLillo and Francine Prose, each read a poem by the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert.

Herbert knew something about writing during wartime and working in an era of repression—for years he wrote "for the drawer," as he wryly put it, since he was forbidden to publish in Poland—and thus it's striking but perhaps not entirely surprising that his poems speak to our moment. "I avoid any commentary I keep a tight hold on my emotions I write about the facts," the chronicler states in "Report from the Besieged City," which DeLillo read.

...

Herbert's poems often return to the textual and ethical issues involved in inscribing experience, in trying to write down the fluctuating external world and be faithful not only to what we know but also what we don't know. Thus an "uncertain clarity" became primary even as he pursued classical values, raising questions about history, about the nature of nature, of philosophical truth, of suffering, of time, of God.

Why the Classics

1
in the fourth book of the Peloponnesian War
Thucydides tells among other things
the story of his unsuccessful expedition
among long speeches of chiefs
battles sieges plague
dense net of intrigues of diplomatic endeavours
the episode is like a pin
in a forest
the Greek colony Amphipolis
fell into the hands of Brasidos
because Thucydides was late with relief
for this he paid his native city
with lifelong exile
exiles of all times
know what that price is


2
generals of the most recent wars
if a similar affair happens to them
whine on their knees before posterity
praise their heroism and innocence
they accuse their subordinates
envious colleagues
unfavourable winds
Thucydides says only
that he had seven ships
it was winter
and he sailed quickly


3
if art for its subject
will have a broken jar
a small broken soul
with a great self-pity
what will remain after us
will be like lovers' weeping
in a small dirty hotel
when wall-paper dawns

Copyright © 2004 Washington Post Company. All rights reserved.



So if people are looking for Leonard's poetic influences, this one comes straight from the horse's mouth.
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