The Window

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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tomsakic
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Re: The Window

Postby tomsakic » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:42 pm

He had the violinist back in 1988 and he didn't play it then neither.
holydove
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Re: The Window

Postby holydove » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:53 pm

I've been saying throughout this tour, that if I had to choose one song that I'd love to hear live, that Leonard hasn't been doing, it would be a very hard choice, but it could be a toss-up between The Window or The Traitor. Though of course I'm ecstatic to hear whatever Leonard does, I guess it will remain a mystery as to how he chooses the songs for the concerts. . .
seadove
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Re: The Window

Postby seadove » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:23 am

I've just heard the song for the first time.

Oh G-d! What a beautiful song! :shock:
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Stamatina
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Re: The Window

Postby Stamatina » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:35 pm

seadove wrote:I've just heard the song for the first time.

Oh G-d! What a beautiful song! :shock:
yes, isn't it? I love it beyond belief..
never cared much about all the different aspects of the lyrics, it's the very taming use of words that always takes my breath away.
"Oh chosen love, Oh frozen love
Oh tangle of matter and ghost
Oh darling of angels, demons and saints
And the whole broken-hearted host
Gentle this soul..."
DBCohen
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Re: The Window

Postby DBCohen » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:10 am

This thread was one of the trigers for the writing of my long article on “The Window”, which has now been kindly loaded by Jarkko on the Files; you can find it by going to the “Analysis” section on the Files, or by clicking on the link on the Front Page, or through the following link:
Www.leonardcohenfiles.com/doron-window.pdf

The article was written about two years ago, and now is finally printed in a scholarly magazine here in Japan (in both English and Japanese versions). For some reason, the magazine would not give me a PDF version of the article (although they do give printouts, which most magazines no longer do), so the PDF you’ll find on the Files is from my own computer, but the text is identical (you’ll find the English version only; anyone who needs the Japanese one can get it from me privately 8) ).

I’d like to thank once again the Forum members who’ve read the draft of the article and commented on it; some of them are mentioned in the last footnote. I couldn’t have done it without you.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of “The Window”; I know it means different things to different people, and I’d be grateful for your comments and suggestions.

Many thanks,

Doron
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mat james
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Re: The Window

Postby mat james » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:49 pm

Hi Doron,
Your "Window" article is such a pleasure to read. I just read it again.
Deeply insightful and informative.

Of course, I just loved this little bit :
“The light came through the window, Straight from the sun above, And so inside my little room There plunged the rays of Love.”

…The window in this poem is open to a reality beyond this world, beyond death, bringing light for those willing to see it. In the second stanza the poet criticizes those who pray dutifully but meaninglessly, afraid of an unexpected vision that might rattle their secure world. The light, when coming through the window to such people, rather than uplift them, turns them into stone, killing love, causing even the heart of God to freeze. But the unstated meaning of the poem is that there is another way: there is a thirst for vision, for another kind of love, and for a true communion with God.
… The window, then, is a multi-faceted image for Cohen: it is a source of various kinds of light, both earthly and divine, and it is also a liminal position for looking both into the world outside and back into the room, which also means looking both at the ultimate reality beyond, as well as into one‟s own soul.
Your article is equal to the best red wine I have tasted! ;-) 8)
Thanks for all you work. This forum is so much the richer for you presence and thoughtful input.

Mat.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
DBCohen
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Re: The Window

Postby DBCohen » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:30 am

Mat,

Thank you very much for your very kind words, and for your help with my article. I’ve never had anything I’ve written compared to good red wine before; I’ll go pour myself a glass 8)

Cheers,

Doron
zaidagal
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Postby zaidagal » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:29 am

I have REALLY been enjoying these posts...I only discovered "the window" last week, and its fast becoming my favourtie LC song (but they are all so good!)

Ok - my interpretation - as a newish christian (episcopalian) and someone sturglling with spirituality, I see it as a spiritual struggle...."why do you stand at the window"...its almost like someone looking, but afraid to go all the way.....stopped by pride, etc, from throwing themselves into God...."tangle of matter and ghost"...what a beautiful way to describe Jesus (God made man)...and "bless the continuous stutter of the word being made into flesh".....we, here on earth, are meant to be the "body" of the church, and yet we do such a poor job...it is a "continuous stutter"....the word is still being made into flesh, at an agonisingly slow rate!

really glad Ive found this forum!
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mat james
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Re: The Window

Postby mat james » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:13 pm

."tangle of matter and ghost"...what a beautiful way to describe Jesus (God made man)...
Zaidagal

Not only Jesus, Z, but any human being. We are all a tangle of matter and ghost; We are all "bread and wine". We can all walk on the waters of divine contemplation and we are all the only son of the Father, fragments of the One substance, emanations of divinity, disentangling in the darkness; the eternal Womb, Lady Midnight.
I see it as a spiritual struggle...."why do you stand at the window"...its almost like someone looking, but afraid to go all the way.....
You make a good point, Z.
Go all the way..."To the end of love."

Mat.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
artreddin
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Re: The Window

Postby artreddin » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:41 pm

Possibly my favourite song of all: it is so, so beautiful with its resonances of sound and imagery, yet the meaning remains obscure... perhaps for the best.

My question has to do with a line from the lyrics themselves: this site has the words as "And come forth from the cloud of anoint" while another has it as "...cloud of unknowing". I much prefer the latter; "cloud of anointing" would still be possible, but "cloud of anoint"?? Are you sure that this is what LC has written?

I would say that it is not what he sings... but, of course, we hear what we want to hear.
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mat james
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Re: The Window

Postby mat james » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:59 pm

Hi artreddin,
The "Cloud of Unknowing" is a little book ( on the mystical journey) written by an obscure Englishman (in the Middle Ages), named Brother John.
It is a wonderful read and no doubt you could order the book from Amazon or any good bookshop selling spiritual books.
Brother John is a pre-Enlightenment Christian and takes the Neo-Platonic perspectives of Plotinus and his quest for the "flight of the alone to the Alone".
Intrinsic in this perspective is that we are all seeds of the Creator and we can re-connect; spiritually with that Creator, if we quest to do so; and more than just re-connect, the argument is that we are made of the same substance/spark, and that we were never really separate, we just didn't know....and hence "The Cloud of Unknowing", the title of the book and the topic of your request.
It is the "I AM Who Am" perspective of some Jewish writers in the Old and New Testaments and the Islamic Sufi writers also. It is also the "That thou Art" perspective of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita poem (Indian Scripture).A wonderful "universal position" that pops up in most cultures across the planet and one that I find very satisfying and refreshing and I suspect that Leonard Cohen does also.

I assume that Leonard is referring to this little book (and this big quest ;-) 8) )in that line you are quoting.
But that is just my opinion.

Regards, Mat.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
artreddin
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Re: The Window

Postby artreddin » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:14 am

Mat,
Thanks ever so much for writing and informing us about this book and its philosophy. It sounds wonderful and if I have the chance I'll surely pick up a copy.

My original comment, however, was just that the lyrics as given on this site (leonardcohen.com) state "cloud of anoint". I can hardly believe that that is what Leonard wrote as it is not only lame but also ungrammatical.

Perhaps you know someone with enough authority on the site who could clarify and possibly change what I'm now almost 100% certain is a misprint of the lyrics.

Again, thanks for your commentary.

P.S. I regularly use Cohen songs to teach English in my university classes here in southern Mexico.
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mat james
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Re: The Window

Postby mat james » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:40 pm

Hi Art,
maybe Jarkko can help clarify...he runs the show around here and knows his stuff.
Open the link and go his "E-mail".

memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=2

Regards, Mat.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
John Etherington
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Re: The Window

Postby John Etherington » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:14 pm

It IS "the cloud of unknowing"...dismiss any further doubt!
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mat james
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Re: The Window

Postby mat james » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:01 am

Hi John,
I have always heard it as you say, "The cloud of unknowing", but at some concerts Leonard changes his lyrics; so I wondered if this "anoint" was one of those moments. Many of his songs have additions and changes....so maybe "anoint" is hanging around somewhere...
In terms of the Book of Mercy, where God mercifully bestows Union on Leonard, this could be interpreted as Leonard's G~d "anointing" him with that blessing; so I can see why Leonard in one of his lyrically experimental moods may use the word "Anoint"; it fits, though it sounds terrible; and as suggested by Art,, "anointing" would fit better. So who knows? Artreddin may be onto something.

...but we are mere mortals.... ;-)

Mat.
Last edited by mat james on Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:58 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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