"I wish I could say everything there is to say in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end" said Leonard Cohen, seen above on the terrace of his house on the Greek island of Hydra.Leonard Cohen is a superlative poet and songwriter. But unfortunate things do sometimes happen between the beginning of his sentences and the end. Born a Jew, he became interested in Buddhism, with its precept of the sanctity of all sentient life, in 1969, and was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1996. In 1973 Cohen performed for Israeli troops in the Yom Kippur War. His words about this experience are an uncanny pre-echo of Stockhausen's thoughts on 9/11:
"And war is wonderful ... It's one of the few times people can act their best. It's so economical in terms of gesture and motion ... Everyone is responsible for his brother."Despite his counterculture views Leonard Cohen continued to spend long periods in Greece after the military junta seized power in April 1967. Cohen defended his presence in Greece under the Colonels by saying that he did not see it as ...
"a betrayal of mankind to vacation in a country ruled by fascists...I had a house there, friends; I didn't consider my presence there a collabaration. It was the contrary."Another leading musician had very different views on living in a country ruled by fascists.
Sources of quotes is Various Positions - A Life of Leonard Cohen by Ira B. Nadel, which was 'written with the full support and cooperation of Leonard Cohen'. Header image credit from CD The Essential Leonard Cohen, photographer Dominique Isserman. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk