One of the most beautiful and inspirational voices in the modern world has been silenced. The wise whispers of Leonard Cohen have come to an end. The poet, novelist, painter, musician and songwriter of old died on November 7th at his family home in Los Angeles. He was 82.
His relatives made the formal announcement yesterday and the world is slowly coming to terms with the reality that, at seemingly the worst possible moment, his ever deepening wisdom has ceased to be.
Wishing You A Very Good Journey: So Long, Leonard
Leonard Cohen was, first and foremost, a poet, but it was his songwriting that brought him worldwide acclaim. With mesmeric melodies and that raspy voice of his, Cohen molded insightful stanzas into powerful verses. And though his lyrics offered a sense of wisdom that is almost impossible to replicate or fully comprehend, his music was somehow relatable, catchy and accessible.
Since Songs of Leonard Cohen debuted in 1967, the legend reinvented his sound with every album; his wisdom and voice deepening with every song.
Though Leonard Cohen knew his death was near as he wrote to the muse that inspired his classic "So Long, Marianne" just a few months before his passing, it was hard for any of us who loved his work to believe it was so close at hand. But, as he proved time and time again, he understood more about life than we could ever hope to.
Well Marianne it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.
And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.
— Leonard Cohen's letter to the dying Marianne Ihlen.
Leonard Cohen has left behind a remarkable oeuvre—one that, if you listen closely, can offer unparalleled wisdoms concerning spirituality and sex; heartbreak and death; religion and war; life and love.
As you grow older you begin to grasp at deeper meanings hidden beneath the surface of his work, and that, my friends, is something to look forward to. Leonard Cohen has left us all behind, but at least "we have the music."
What song will always remind you of the late Leonard Cohen?