Tag Archives: London

Meditation on The Thames

 

 

World so bright and blithe this September morn,

Rich stillness reaches in the dazzling blue

Turning the soul to a crystal clear view;

Worries slip away in the stream unshorn

Hardly a creature woken from slumber,

The currents of life, flowing swiftly on

Sweeping the dust with a natural song.

Freeing the dazed heart from pockmarked blunder

Sweet pulse, that throbs in the shimmering scene;

A feast of delights that requires no meat

Or pleasures that thicken and make one mean.

Sifted sunshine brings cheer to forlorn feet

On the sinuous path that is serene

A draught of clear cheer leaches cold deceit.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Thoughts, Travel

What does Leonard Cohen mean to me?

This is a question that I have been thinking about a lot recently.

Perhaps, it’s to do with a burning excitement that is building up as I await to see him play London on his latest tour? Maybe it’s to do with the fact that Leonard Cohen’s oeuvre has had a huge impact on my thinking since I became acquainted with it a little over 10 years ago?

Either way, I think that it is an important question. It is a question we ask of everyone at some point, who has had an impact on our lives – friend, lover, stranger or, in this case, artistic and cultural heroes.

I love the fact that Leonard has addressed the fundamental themes of existence – love, desire, betrayal, redemption, connection – right from the beginning of his musical and writing career. The way in which he draws upon various philosophies, religions and cultural ideas, forever exploring and mining what it is to be human. His songs and writings can be listened to and read over and over; they yield so much, yet always offer new meanings. The blend of the earthy and ethereal, the sensuality and the serious, the comedy and the tragedy never ceases to charm.

We can dip in and out of his work at various times of our lives, whether we are 15 or 55, and still discover new truths. Maybe, this is what Leonard means to me. He is timeless. His writings stand apart from time but help me make sense of time. Leonard helps me appreciate that life – while it may be baffling at times – is blazingly beautiful. The wry humour and learned wisdom, etched in his lyrics, enchant the heart and sing in one’s mind.

Thank you Leonard for enriching my existence and thank you to an old friend who introduced me to this incomparable “Troubadour Sans Pareil” on the threshold of my adult life.

Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.” (The Favourite Game)

3 Comments

Filed under Music, Reviews, Thoughts

Leonard Cohen, a troubadour for our times

Leonard Cohen’s new album, “Old Ideas” is due for release on the 31st January. This is enough to set the pulse racing. Indeed just looking at the Track List brings a smile to my face, with song titles like Crazy to Love You and Come Healing destined to strike a chord. As an appetiser, you can watch and listen to this delightful lyric video for Show Me The Place and sample the haunting beauty of Darkness, which will enchant the weary heart. Like all great writers, Cohen’s words transcend time, giving voice to universal themes: love, longing, desire, death, freedom, jealousy, man’s inhumanity to man and the quest for meaning in an often senseless world. The genius is in the wry wisdom that comes from a cumulative well of experience, reflection and observation. The strength of any artist is surely their back catalogue and since he dazzled the world with his debut album, “Songs of Leonard Cohen” in 1967, L.Cohen hasn’t failed in his quest to enlarge the minds, hearts and souls of his myriad followers.

The words “greatness” and “legend” are tossed around too freely today. Yet “Laughing Len” fully justifies the tag of living legend. I was fortunate to see him perform, twice, in 2008 at the O2 arena in London. Ever the master craftsman, consummate performer and bard of mordancy, rolled into one, this poet of the night soon had the audience eating from the palm of his hand. “Hello London” he growled in his rich baritone, “it’s good to be back. Last time I was here I was 60. I was just a kid with a crazy dream”. Throughout his supreme performance, Len kept on reminding us that life, despite all its vanities and crudities, is a beautiful thing and that no matter how bleak existence at times can be, “there’s a crack in everything/that’s how the light gets in”. Both nights fizzed with electrifying intimacy.

Long live Leonard Cohen. I was going to conclude that just like a vintage wine, L Cohen gets better with age. But this misses the point for this Canadian maestro was wise when he was young. Treasure this fedora-wearing lyrical icon, he is a genius.

2 Comments

Filed under Music, Reviews