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FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:24 pm
by jarkko
We have now something very special for the Forum/Files members and visitors.
Leonard wants to share his new poem with the community gathered around his work,
and asked me to post it here and on The Files (it's at http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/happens.html)





HAPPENS TO THE HEART

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
I was funding my depression
Meeting Jesus reading Marx
Sure it failed my little fire
But it's bright the dying spark
Go tell the young messiah
What happens to the heart

There’s a mist of summer kisses
Where I tried to double-park
The rivalry was vicious
And the women were in charge
It was nothing, it was business
But it left an ugly mark
So I’ve come here to revisit
What happens to the heart

I was selling holy trinkets
I was dressing kind of sharp
Had a pussy in the kitchen
And a panther in the yard
In the prison of the gifted
I was friendly with the guard
So I never had to witness
What happens to the heart

I should have seen it coming
You could say I wrote the chart
Just to look at her was trouble
It was trouble from the start
Sure we played a stunning couple
But I never liked the part
It ain’t pretty, it ain’t subtle
What happens to the heart

Now the angel’s got a fiddle
And the devil’s got a harp
Every soul is like a minnow
Every mind is like a shark
I've opened every window
But the house, the house is dark
You say Uncle, then it's simple
What happens to the heart

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
The slaves were there already
The singers chained and charred
Now the arc of justice bending
And the injured soon to march
I lost my job defending
What happens to the heart

I studied with this beggar
He was filthy he was scarred
By the claws of many women
He had failed to disregard
No fable here no lesson
No singing meadow lark
Just a filthy beggar blessing
What happens to the heart

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
I could lift, but nothing heavy
Almost lost my union card
I was handy with a rifle
My father's 303
We fought for something final
Not the right to disagree

Sure it failed my little fire
But it's bright the dying spark
Go tell the young messiah
What happens to the heart


June 24, 2016

Copyright 2016 Leonard Cohen.
All rights reserved
Posted here by permission of Leonard Cohen.
Any other use forbidden

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:46 pm
by 199Dan
Wow !!

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:00 pm
by yoeri
Thank you!

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:07 pm
by musicmania
Oh, what an absolute treat :D What happened to my heart, on seeing this beautiful, and wonderfully crafted poem.

Thank you Leonard, and thank you Jarkko!

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:30 pm
by basecamp
Beautiful!
Thanks for sharing!

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:33 pm
by cohenadmirer
First impression is this is a great piece of work,,,certainly a lovely and kind gift from Leonard to publish it on the forum
Thankyou

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:51 pm
by Hartmut
Great!

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:04 pm
by pironi
For me this is more than a poem - it's a honest account of everything he has experienced in the past. Anybody feels the same?
Pietro.

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:07 pm
by Hartmut
I seem to remember the title from somewhere. Has this poem {or song?) been mentioned somewhere recently?

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:19 pm
by yopietro
Blown away. Some monumental lines and images here. Every soul is like a minnow, every mind is like a shark.
I imagine I'm not the only one who heard Leonard's voice in his head reciting this poem as I was reading it.

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:21 pm
by JudasPriest
Thanks Leonard - this is quite the treat but it has such a lyrical flow that surely it deserves to be put to music and sung on your next album... or in the alternative recited live A Thousand Kisses Deep style!

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:25 pm
by blethers
Love this. The first time I've read one of his poems more or less hot off the press - what an impact. Thanks for posting, and to LC for giving his blessing.

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:26 pm
by JudasPriest
The more I read it, definitely too good not to be transposed into song...

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:30 pm
by yopietro
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ ... s-20150317

"We had another song on the album, which was called 'Happens to the Heart,' which will be on the next album. It's a very good lyric, a very good tune, but we didn't nail it."

Re: FROM LEONARD: HAPPENS TO THE HEART

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:34 pm
by JudasPriest
Ah... Makes sense. Stick at it Leonard and let's get this sucker nailed as soon as possible...