The Window

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
mara43
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:45 pm

The Window

Postby mara43 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:33 pm

Hi everyone - Im trying to figure out just how much of the Window comes from the poem (translated by Cohen) and how much are his own words....any idea?

Thanks! (I may have posted about this in the past, but lost all my old posts and log in info - had to start over)

Mara
John Etherington
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Re: The Window

Postby John Etherington » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:44 pm

Hi mara43, "The Window" is one of my favourite Leonard songs. However I don't remember hearing that it was adapted from a poem, even though I know it contains kabbalistic imagery. I know that "Ballad of the Absent Mare", also on "Recent Songs", is adapted from "The Ox-Herding Pictures". Incidentally, I have heard the singer Felicity Buirski (who I mentioned here recently in another thread) perform a beautiful live version of "The Window", but she has not recorded it.
mara43
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Re: The Window

Postby mara43 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:15 pm

Hi John - My memory is failing me, lol! But Ive read that parts of The Window "oh chosen love oh frozen love oh tangle of matter and ghost" comes from a poem from a certain culture.....and why cant I remember...an old Arab poem? Greek? Let me go back and look on the web, I'm sure there is info.....what was not clear, from what I read, was how much came from the poem and how much was original.....

Its one of my favorites too!!!! Is the Felicity Buirski version on youtube?

Thanks!

Mara
mara43
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Re: The Window

Postby mara43 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:26 pm

Found this on a wonderful piece written about The Window by someone named Doron Cohen - Doron quotes Leonard below:

"I owe my thanks to the late Robert Hernshorn, who, many years ago, put into
my hands the books of the old Persian poets Attar and Rumi, whose imagery influenced
several songs, especially The Guests and The Window ".

So, I guess there was "influence" if not an actual poem translated! Although somewhere, somewhere, I read that "frozen love, chosen love, tangle of matter and ghost" was "from" a poem.....ah well...maybe I will discover it again sometime!
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Maarten
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Re: The Window

Postby Maarten » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:41 pm

mara43 wrote:Found this on a wonderful piece written about The Window by someone named Doron Cohen ...
Yes, Doron's piece on The Window is well worth reading, I even have it printed and bound in my "archives". You can read it online here:
http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/doron-window.pdf

Maarten

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holydove
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Re: The Window

Postby holydove » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:35 pm

Leonard said, in an interview in Hannover, Nov. 11, 1979, that those lines (the chorus) are from an old Persian poem. He doesn't name the poet, but my guess is that it's a Sufi poet (I haven't been able to discover exactly which one, though). Here is the quote from Leonard, & a link:

The Window
Hannover 11/11/79
It's a song that is based on an old Persian poem that says "Oh chosen love, Oh frozen love, O tangle of matter and ghost, O darling of angels, demons and saints." This is the first time I ever said it. I always sung it before. It's a song called "The Window".

http://www.leonardcohen-prologues.com/the_window.htm

.
HelenOE
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Re: The Window

Postby HelenOE » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:59 am

holydove wrote:Leonard said, in an interview in Hannover, Nov. 11, 1979, that those lines (the chorus) are from an old Persian poem. He doesn't name the poet, but my guess is that it's a Sufi poet (I haven't been able to discover exactly which one, though).
I've seen several interviews where Leonard has spoken about Rumi in very admiring terms... maybe that's the poet in question?
holydove
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Re: The Window

Postby holydove » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:44 am

HelenOE wrote: I've seen several interviews where Leonard has spoken about Rumi in very admiring terms... maybe that's the poet in question?
I figure it could be either Rumi or Attar, since Leonard said that the books which his friend, Robert Herschorn, gave him (as mentioned in a post above), & which infuenced The Window & The Guests, were books of poems by those two poets.

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