Alexandra Leaving

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Post by Diane » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:59 am

welcome to the forum, movingon! Thank you for relating your marvellous story. I hope life gets better and better for you. It is a remarkable song for sure. There's more thoughts on it here, from about a quarter way down the page:

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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Post by clgh » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:00 pm

earthquakefish wrote:Alexandara Leaving is perhaps my favourite LC song.

This refers to the reflection it leaves upon me and my interpretation of the song.

I was swept away from underneath by this girl that radiated beyond any previous encounter, yet she was involved with her lover of the past few years and was set to fly away to a remote island in less than a month from my eyes setting upon her, with her lover. Yet, she questioned going after meeting me despite she was going to perhaps one of the most untouched regions of the world for free and she wants to become an anthropologist.

My morals, or perhaps my own cowardice, didn't allow me to follow this further as much as my heart despaired this; this still resonants within me. (There was reasons, of course) I let her go, when I question if I should have? The following lyrics are a representation of her departure to me and could not of been spoken more poetically,

Suddenly the night has grown colder.
The god of love preparing to depart.
Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,
They slip between the sentries of the heart.


And you who had the honor of her evening,
And by the honor had your own restored –
This is for the first person posted. I think that this is a brilliant song and the miracle that LC has always waited for. Love can only remain perfect or ideal for a very brief period. We either learn to love the person flaws and all or they leave us or we leave them and feel pain and longing which makes us deny it ever happened so that we don't miss them. I don't think the God of Love is another man but more like Cupid who now and then hits us with one of his arrows.

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving;
Alexandra leaving with her lord.


As someone long prepared for the occasion;
In full command of every plan you wrecked –
Do not choose a coward’s explanation
that hides behind the cause and the effect.

And you who were bewildered by a meaning;
Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

These lyrics are quite profound to me and my heart is still asphyxiated by this and how the lyrics resonant this message is beyond my imagination.

Perhaps, this is my interpretation and poetry can be interpreted in many different ways, but given my circumstances this song delivered a message I could've never imagined of summoning within an hour, yet done beautifully within four minutes.
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Re: Alexandra Leaving

Post by lovettcms » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:12 am

My first contact with the background for this song was when I was 18 years old and starting to read Lawrence Durrell's "Alexandria Quartet." As the first volume makes clear, Cavafy is always in the background, especially his poem, "The God Abandons Anthony." Forty-five years later, I'm less impressed with Durrell as a writer, yet struck by how much my sensibility was affected by the novels, or even just some of their sentences (e.g., "A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants").

Like many people, I've intuitively experienced emotions as places and times, not just as attachment to another person. Maybe it's little more than pathetic fallacy, maybe (as Barthes has it) the lover alone with his or her system. In chronological time, most of us get to a point where the spell is broken, whether by a break-up or, on the contrary, by sheer force of commitment to the demands of family life. Cavafy, Cohen and Durrell straddle the two worlds. They know the disenchantment is inevitable, yet they know the state of enchantment, the "Entzauberung" (Nietzsche's term in Birth of Tragedy), demands recognition. It is more than the young, impressionable, wishful thinking of an individual that can be trivialized after the fact. Instead, there is an underlying truth rippling far beyond, maybe what Wallace Stevens meant when he wrote, "The beauty of the flesh is immortal."
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