"Elaboration of a tube" line in "Going Home"?

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)
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StBruno
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby StBruno » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:52 am

I'm sure that's what lies behind the image, Surrender.

Hopefully Violet can stop thinking of 'the loo' now :oops: !
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Violet
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby Violet » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:54 am


.. yes, but a tiny jellyfish like creature isn't much of an improvement, I don't think. (!)

.. I mean, I can't think Leonard is suggesting he's an elaboration of a jellyfish.

.. wait.. let me back up a sec

Violet wrote: let's not forget, Leonard's a writer, after all--not a scientist.. and, as such, his referencing "the flow of electrons," which manipulate electrical signals might ignite the mind in a more expansive, and in that sense poetic seeming "elaboration"..
.. I probably should have said he's no "biologist".. but he is something of a scientist, as per that alchemical dimension having to do with words and their implied meanings and subjective associations--given the manner in which they are being used. And while writers cannot ultimately control how their work gets interpreted, there's still a.. well, I mean, each writer has a sensibility, say, which in some manner provides clues.. and somehow.. well, I'm thinking something on the order of subatomic particles.. [as per the wave-particle duality lyric].. seems more in keeping with the world he's in some manner [even unconsciously] intent on conjuring at this point in time.. as opposed to "jellyfish."

.. it just seems to me that the quantum realm is.. [to use this word again].. "expansive" in implication.. as opposed to the Green Hydra.. [cousin of ye 'ol jellyfish].. which leaves us sticky and gooey--and stuck with this "one thing."

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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby holydove » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:25 pm

antwerp guy wrote:I know this sounds dull, but I think you can read this quite simply as a speaking tube. Something like this: http://www.aqpl43.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/ ... .htm#speak

The words are not his, he is just the speaking tube passing them on...
Antwerp guy, this doesn't sound dull at all; I think it's a very good interpretation. I would add that the larynx, where the vocal chords are located, is shaped very much like the "speaking tubes" shown in the link you provided; & the word "larynx" is from the Greek "laryngos", which is translated as "upper windpipe" (pipe=tube), so the larynx is the organic human version of the speaking tube. I also mentioned previously, in another thread, that the "tube" might also be Leonard's metaphor for a spiritual "vessel" (this is similar to what Scocoh said), meaning that he is like a vessel through which the messages flow, from that mysterious source (where the good songs come from), & it is his duty to speak those messages to the people, & all the intense work he does, to put the messages into the most accurate & beautiful forms possible, could be the "elaboration". I think it's possible that Leonard is describing himself as both a spiritual vessel (receiving the messages), & a speaking tube - be it organic or manufactured - (conveying the messages through poetry/song).
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby B4real » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:51 am

I stumbled across this while looking for songs for my violin practice. :razz:
It's a quote by Leonard when he was interviewed in the earlier years.
It seems to relate to what is being said:
Instrument.jpg
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby joyezekiel » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:04 pm

"tube" seems such an un-Leonard sort of word to me.......
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby holydove » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:45 pm

joyezekiel wrote:"tube" seems such an un-Leonard sort of word to me.......
Hi Joy,

Isn't it very Leonard-like to startle us with an unexpected, baffling, disconcerting, strategically placed word(s), which totally revolutionizes one's concept of poetry (and/or of life itself?)?

Be4Real, thank you for posting that quote - very interesting!!
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby Mirek » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:30 pm

Exactly, holydove! Both life and poetry are usually a series of unexpected riddles. That's why it's so fascinating.
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby TipperaryAnn » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:46 pm

How about one of the few who have access to Leonard, e.g. Jarrko, actually asking him did he originally write "tune" or " tube"? I'm happy to accept and adapt to either if it has the LC imprimator! Would save a lot of wasted online energy...
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"elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions?

Postby JudasPriest » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:15 pm

Great shout Ann....
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby KaimiK » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:22 am

He will speak these words of wisdom
Like a sage, a man of vision
Though he knows he’s really nothing
But the brief elaboration of a tube


The first thing I thought was that it refers to our embryonic development in our first weeks of life, and then our brief mortal stay here on the earth. After consulting the medical person in the family, he confirmed that one of the early stages of our development, a flat sheet of cells essentially folds up and around and becomes the neural tube which encompasses the brain, spinal cord, central nervous system, etc. Another part of the flat sheet of cells folds down and around forming another tube that becomes other parts of the body. (This is the much-simplified explanation.) We start as this tube, elaborate or mature, and finish our brief mortal journey. Or something like that.

That's what I took out of it. Though I have to say that I have the same issue with trying to get to the root of Leonard's thought processes, as I had with trying to analyze literature at university. (My professors thought otherwise...) When we write something, can we always pinpoint the exact source of our inspiration or do the words just sometimes write themselves without us even knowing the full context ourselves? When we read others words, we really just see the reflections of our own mind, our own experience. Trying to read another mind is like diving into the deep-end of someone else's murky, rocky pool.
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby Violet » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:33 pm

KaimiK wrote: Trying to read another mind is like diving into the deep-end of someone else's murky, rocky pool.
True. Isn't it great?
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby John Etherington » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:13 pm

Of course it's a typo...b is next to n on the keyboard (simple as that)! Of course, if Leonard was asked, he would probably say it's "tube" as he would appreciate the humourous twist.
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby mutti » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:04 pm

I can't resist...
'boob tube' is slang for television :lol:
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby panjandrum » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:06 pm

Wow, not having read the lyrics yet (I prefer to listen first), I would have never guessed anything but "tune" for that. But this wouldn't be the first time that Leonard has used words with similar sounds to simultanesously mean two different things:

"very close companion" and
"vericose companion" jump immediately to mind. Definitely not an accident there...

I have also frequently seen typos in books, poems etc, especially now that computers are used to do these checks instead of human readers. So until we hear otherwise we really can't rule out a typo. Also, assuming "un tube" does mean "a hit" in French vernacular then tube would make perfect sense and would lend the song many layers of simultaneous meaning. And my understanding is that Leonard chooses his words very, very carefully - in a way much more consistent with poets of the past and quite unlike the majority of contemporary "poets".
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Re: "elaboration of a tube" - any interpretation suggestions

Postby TineDoes » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:25 pm

mutti wrote:I can't resist...'boob tube' is slang for television
I think you have hit the nail on the head. :D In the dutch language the TV or a radio used to very often be referred to as 'de buis' which in English is 'tube'. Using this metafore seems perfectly logical to me in view of the quote that B4Real posted earlier and this thread. ALso these lines

"But he does say what I tell him
Even though it isn’t welcome
He just doesn’t have the freedom
To refuse"

As I hear the song, Leonard Cohen sees a part of himself, his outer form, his voice, his manner as nothing more than the 'means' to bring (his) thoughts, (his) art, (his) ideas to the public. I hear in this that Leonard Cohen censors himself in constantly.
The TV or radio set has no say or has not responsibility in the matter of it's programming. What is shown on TV is by it's nature always censored.
I put the word 'his' in brackets as I understand that Leonard Cohen has often hinted that he doesn't know from what 'devine' place his thoughts, poetry, songs and ideas come from.

Just a thought :D
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