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The Gypsy Scholar is proud to dedicate this page of the Tower of Song in honor of its Orphic Troubadour, Leonard Cohen

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"I'm Your Man" in the Tower of Song

 

Leonard Cohen is one of the Gypsy Scholar's
"singing-masters of my soul."


and


his Tower of Song is the


"singing school ...


studying Monuments of its own magnificence."

 

 

"Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence ....
O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul."


~W.B. Yeats, 'Sailing to Byzantium'

(As a young poet, LC was deeply influenced by

Yeats, whom he has called "the master".) 

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Meme by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

 

In Memoriam

 

Leonard Cohen

September 21, 1934 - November 7, 2016

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Now I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back
They're moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you'll be hearing from me baby, long after I'm gone

I'll be speaking to you sweetly from a window in the Tower of Song.

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This is a music video of the Leonard Cohen song "Traveling Light," from his last album, You Want It Darker. The video contains never before seen clips of Leonard at his LA home during his final days.

Leonard Cohen's last birthday in 2016 celebrated by the Gypsy Scholar

 

Happy 82nd Virgo Birthday Leonard Cohen!


from one Virgo (September 22) to another,

and


Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new album (10/21/16)

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click on image of Leonard Cohen's horoscope to access interactive natal chart

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This is a music video of the story about making Leonard Cohen's  

posthumous album put together by Adam Cohen entitled

Thanks for the Dance, which was released on October 22, 2019.

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Meme by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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Meme by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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Painting by Edvard Munch, "Night" (1890).

Meme by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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Leonard Cohen:

The "Romantic Outsider" as Poet-Musician

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The Gypsy Scholar locates Leonard Cohen in the poetic tradition of the

19th-century Romantic Movement. 

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The GS's early intuition of the Romantic poets as Leonard Cohen's poetic influences has been substantiated by both LC himself (as to his influences as a young poet: "I studied the English poets and I knew their work well, and I copied their styles...." [2011] ) and by his critics and biographers.  However, LC's is a special type of Romanticism. He has been identified with the late 19th-century poetic school of "Black Romanticism" (associated with Baudelaire): "Yet it is precisely this tradition, that of the contemporary Black Romantics [Genet, Burroughs, Grass] as we might call them, that Leonard Cohen appears to belong" (Sandra Djwa, 1976). LC himself has stated that as an aspiring young Montreal poet he took his inspiration from, and identified with, the Romantic poets, like Blake, Byron, Shelley, Keats and W. B. Yeats. ("... a young man who was growing up and discovering Byron and Blake." "It was also a place where a young poet could try to connect with the ghosts of Byron and Shelley and Blake." "Leonard Cohen was reborn as John Keats." [Leibovitz, 2014]. Bono, a great admirer, has this to say about Leonard: “Here was a man, who inside of a pop-song ... you know, puts big ideas, big dreams.  It reminded me of Keats or Shelley or, you know, they were poets I was reading as a kid.  I said this is our ... Shelley, this is our ... Byron.") Leonard has called W. B. Yeats "the great master." In his poem 'Time Out,' Cohen takes a line from Yeats' poem 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree': "I shall arise and go now." Cohen hears the Romantic call and longs to "arise and go now," and for a time he is set apart in order to grow. (LC also referred to Yeats in 1997: "Yeats's father said poetry is the social act of a solitary man ....") Thus, the GS sees Leonard Cohen as part of that esteemed "Visionary Company" (Harold Bloom) of the early 18th- and late 19th-century Romantic poet-prophets, those "ringers in the tower" (Yeats)--the "Tower of Song." (Regarding Bono's insight into LC that "inside of a pop-song ... you know, puts big ideas, big dreams" and identifying him with Romantic poets: the GS, as a young college student of English Lit and specializing in the Romantics--who sometimes called their poems "Songs"-- his desire to have Romantic poems set to music and his fantasy of a Romantic poet as a musician--because of his non-academic preoccupation with Sixties folk-rock music--was fully realized when he first heard the songs of one-time poet, Leonard Cohen. Indeed, these "big ideas" of high literary/philosophical culture "inside of a pop song" of low culture was a dream come true--and, looking back, probably the inspiration for later in life becoming the "Gypsy Scholar" on radio, who sought to mix high, academic culture with low, popular culture.)
 

My time is running out
and still I have not
sung the true song
the great song.


And Shelley had his towers, thought's crowned powers
he called them once
I declare this tower my symbol; I declare
This winding, gyring, spiring treadmill of a stair is my
ancestral stair....


—W.B. Yeats, 'The Winding Stair and Other Poems'

I shall find the dark grow luminous,
the void fruitful when I understand
I have nothing, that the ringers in the tower
have appointed for the hymen of the soul
a passing bell.


—W.B. Yeats, 'Per Arnica Silentia Lunae'

Leonard Cohen's secret society of the Romantic "Visionary Company" (those poet-prophet "ringers in the tower") of the Tower of Song:

 

"The Order of the Unified Heart"

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Leonard Cohen Biographical Memes 

by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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Leonard Cohen Philosophical Memes

by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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"As rational metaphysics teaches that man becomes all things by understanding them (HOMO INTELLIGENDO FIT OMNIA), this imaginative metaphysics [Giambattista Vico's New Science] shows that man becomes all things by not understanding them (HOMO NON INTELLIGENDO FIT OMNIA)." ~ Prof. N.O. Brown, Closing Time (1973)

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Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" was released in 1984, when he was 50 years old.

L. C. has acknowledged that Yeats is one of his primary poetic mentors--"the master."

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Leonard Cohen Memes on Poetry & Music

by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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That "sanctuary" is metaphorically the "Tower of Song" 

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Leonard Cohen Memes on Sexuality

by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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This is Leonard Cohen's version of one of Blake's arguments in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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Shambhala Sun interview, 1998. This is what the GS has been asserting all along about what kind of philosophy is behind some of  LC's love songs: "... there is no difference between the spiritual and the profane. But it's reached through the profane rather than the spiritual ...." Now, here's the confirmation from LC himself !

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These two memes depict prime examples of Leonard Cohen blending sexuality with G-d, or eroticism with spirituality, which equals what can be called "sacred sexuality."

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Leonard Cohen Memes from the Book of Mercy

by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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Other Leonard Cohen Memes

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Leonard Cohen's poetry book: Book of Longing (2006)

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Leonard Cohen Song-lyric Memes

by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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"It's written on the walls of this hotel

You go to heaven once you've been to hell."

"I made a date in Heaven, Oh Lord

But I've been keepin' it in Hell."

~ Leonard Cohen

 

"Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained;

and the restrainer or reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling.
And being restrain'd it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire.
The history of this is written in Paradise Lost. & the Governor or Reason is call'd Messiah….
But in the Book of Job Miltons Messiah is call'd Satan…
It indeed appear'd to Reason as if Desire was cast out, but the Devil's account is, that the Messiah fell, & formed a heaven of what he stole from the Abyss."

"I was walking among the fires of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity."

                                                ~ William Blake, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

"So, so you think you can tell / Heaven from Hell? / Blue skies from pain? / Can you tell a green field / From a cold steel rail? / A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell?"

                   ~ Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here"

"Winter's people watching / As I sail from season's four / To join some crazy ladies / In a game upon the shore / None of them with broken wings / But still refuse to fly / So with sweetness on my lips / I smile a last goodbye. / And now I spend my life / On the velvet side of hell / Aimlessly here searching / For what I cannot tell."

                   ~ Steve Miller Band, "Your Saving Grace"

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These lyrics are an early version of the opening lines of "Ain’t No Cure For Love." They reflect LC's criticism of Band Aid benefit concert in 1985.

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T

H

E

F

U

T

U

R

E

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“In the jungle of cities, the new barbarism. It is later than you think.... The sense of ending: Western Civilization is over…. On the verge of closing time…. In the meantime, waiting waiting…. In the meantime, an interim in the time of the Not yet…. In the interim, an interlude … an interlude of farce…. An interval of timeless formlessness, an interregnum.... Interregnum, or Saturnalia, satire for the Saturnalia.... Farce makes farce out of tragedy..... Waiting for Lefty, Waiting for Godot, waiting to stop the show, the farce … waiting to bring the house down…. Waiting for a new dawn. Calling all downs. ‘It is imperative that we sink.’ (W.C. Williams). Farce ... the swan song of dying civilizations.... Beyond tragedy and farce is the fusion of these opposites.”

      ~ Prof. N.O. Brown, Closing Time (1973)

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“And worse, there is a crack in everything that you can put together, physical objects, mental objects, constructions of any kind. But that’s where the light gets in, and that’s where the resurrection is and that’s where the return, that’s where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation, with the brokenness of things.” ~ Leonard Cohen (The High Priest of Brokenness)

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The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the end of six thousand years is true. as I have heard from Hell…

… the whole creation will be consumed, and appear infinite. and holy whereas

it now appears finite & corrupt.

This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment.

 

       ~ William Blake, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

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“No One After You” is a song by Leonard Cohen & Anjani, released on her Blue Alert album in 2006

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A 1992 Song “About An Orgasm”

by Leonard Cohen & Dave Stewart

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Leonard Cohen "Broken" & "Crack in Everything" Memes

by B.F. Gypsy Scholar

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Leonard Cohen Song Artworks

Leonard Cohen's Art Prints

Leonard Cohen Portraits