Delicious indeed, Diane!Diane wrote:"To the one who was never never equal to the task", offers two possible, and opposite, interpretations:
1. To the one was was NEVER equal to the task.
2. To the one (One?) who was always equal to the task.
Let me add:
3. To the one who was never [, and who was] never equal to the task
The Non-Existing All-Powerless...
Here a few more associations concerning "As he died to make men holy, let us die to make things cheap".
Still not along Julia Ward Howe's line "As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free", nor along Mark Twain's line "As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich" — but not quite on daka's line either:
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English:daka wrote:My take on this line is that things only have a value if there is grasping at them. If there is no 'I' no Ego, no 'self' to grasp, there is nothing to be grasped at, therefore it becomes cheap, because it is nor 'desired' .
"cheap [...] 2 worth more than the cost; of good value for the money. [...]"
Yes!ursula48 wrote:I'm moved to tears by this beautiful poem.... Even if I do not get the meaning of every line, every word.
I do realize how much I miss this man, his magical concerts, his wisdom..............ulla
Whether we understand all the words or not, whether we have half a century of religious or spiritual practice behind us or none at all — Leonard Cohen is able to move us to the depths of our reality, different from anything our ego can grasp.
The fact that he moves us there, at no cost, with no prerequisite — not even material cost: this poem (and much more of his stuff) is publicly accessible for free —, does mean that his "things" are really "cheap".
And "to make things cheap" that way, to make wisdom accessible, is a tremendously difficult job.
Leonard Cohen, to my understanding, is a priest taking his "task" seriously. I do think he "dies" (= fully lives, because he lets his ego step aside) in order to allow truth to speak up "cheaply" — the only cost being our willingness to listen, to let our own ego step aside.
The context of the line
"They whisper still, the injured stones, the blunted mountains weep"
also makes me think that the last two stanzas might be a reference to the still very "costly" Civil Rights even today, and a homage to Martin Luther King, who said on 3rd April 1968, one day before he was assassinated ("who knows he will be shot")
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ve_Be ... ountaintop:
"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live — a long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."
♫John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave♫
♫But his soul is marching on.♫