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Master of Words – Leonard Cohen

‘Depression doesn't drive what I write, it's just a sea I live in...’

Here’s a story of one man's journey to bring the world his gift...

I love it most because he really could have just given up.


But his drive to write kept him going beyond himself.

That is true strength.

His words are so beautiful; so unflinchingly raw and real - accepting the holy and the broken in one.

To me he is the master poet, and I am forever grateful for the evidence of his life...

As a teen, Leonard Cohen creates a country music band called the Buckskin Boys.

Can’t say I’ve ever heard any of it... so glad he didn't stop there.

For the next two decades, he writes for nobody and shares poetry in empty halls.

He writes a book to help support his art, but sells only a few copies.

He decides to start singing to the guitar he always used to help his poetry flow…

At 37 he releases his first album.

Struggling to find his niche, he continues anyway, saying he has to write -that he is compelled to; that writing helps starve his depression.

In his last book, ‘The Flame’, his son Adam says -

‘My father, before anything else, was a poet. …he wished that he had more completely stayed steadfast to the recognition that writing was his only solace, his truest purpose.’

During the 90's he found some kind of success, only to find himself wanting to slip away from the world who seemed finally ready to accept him.

So he vanished and became a zen monk.

What happens next is my favourite part of all…

When he came back to reality, he was ready to be more himself; to dig deep and go against all the advice music labels had given him - so he went lower and darker instead of lighter.

And with that came some of his best music.

At some stage he realised he had been ripped off millions from his trusted friend and manager for decades.

Rather than wallowing in despair, he created a series of concerts and enjoyed the process all over again; touring at 74 onwards and kept writing and producing some of his best work into his 80’s.

Leonard Cohen's final offering to the world ‘You Want It Darker’ is a deeply vulnerable beauty from a man unafraid of looking into the mirror at death.

Life well spent - and his legacy lives on...


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