Sunday, February 17, 2013

Poetics: Leonard Cohen at The Theater of the Clouds


The legend from the tower of song and verse
Now seventy-six, maybe still five-feet-eight,
With the limber long legs of the lover he is
And storied long face of the friar he was,
Began most songs on his knees.

That hat: a sartorial punctuation mark, cool
Tipped down, shaded twinkling eyes, then raised
Up to dance 'midst three light beams spotting
Just him raising his hat against the bright shafts --
Just to see us high in the third tier, to thank us
Just for being there, and to caution his fans in
Steep places not to lean too far forward,
Else we set in motion "an avalanche."

Later, before the third encore would see his
Final bow, unable to contain his gratitude, he
Pressed that hat against his chest and dropped
To his knees, bowing fully to the floor.
Then the limber long legs of the lover and
Expressive long face of the mountain friar --
Tucked serenely in child's pose with
A child's kind of soaring joy --
Rode an avalanche of applause.

 MLydiaM ~ December 2010




Written for Poetics — Leonard Cohen and Place at dVerse Poets, hosted this week by Mary, whose prompt post asks us to consider the poetry of Leonard Cohen, and our memory of a place such as his memory song about The Chelsea Hotel I hope you will forgive me for republishing an older post, which was my tribute to Leonard Cohen ...but is also a memory of the place where I have been fortunate to see him twice in my life. 

Note: I first published this post in December 2010 in response to the photo prompt (image of sled at top) provided at Magpie Tales. It was written following the first time I saw Leonard Cohen in concert, and it was the best concert I'd everever seen.......until he returned to Portland in November 2012, and he eclipsed the 2010 concert!

That second time our seats were were about 20 rows back from the stage and not in the "nosebleed section" near the ceiling as described in this poem. Among other memorable moments from the second concert was Leonard Cohen and Hattie Webb of The Webb Sisters singing their tour debut of his old song "Joan of Arc" that night in Portland (see video recorded by someone in audience here). I sat there and wept. I adore this man, his poetry and his music.

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9 comments:

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

i remember this last time around and am glad that the concert was so good

rosaria williams said...

Ohhh! I have not seen him live; I bet it is just the way you described him.

Brian Miller said...

i thought this was vaguely familiar...very cool for having seen him twice...would love to see him in person...that would be a treet...

Claudia said...

very cool...must be fantastic to see him live and sounds like he's really enjoying the interaction with the audience as well...a person to person man..

Mary said...

You really have captured, for me, what going to a Cohen concert must be like. He is visiting here in March, and maybe I will try to see him; but our weather is always so iffy I hate to buy tickets. You wrote about his THIRD encore. Amazing, isn't it, that a performer of his fame and stature would do three encores and also be so humble. That is greatness indeed. Thank you for sharing this poem, and more than that, for sharing YOUR love of Cohen.

Fireblossom said...

You know I love Cohen.

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Lydia said...

Pixies~ Love seeing comments from you.

rosaria~ He is more than marvelous.

Brian~ I hope you and your wife will get a chance to see him in concert.

Claudia~ "A person to person man" is such a perfect description of him!

Mary~ Thank you for this prompt. Your commentary at dVerse was so lovely. I am not sure about your weather difficulties, but wow, if he is coming your way I would gamble on the weather and buy the tickets. His concerts are life-changing.

Fireblossom~ I do know that!

mythopolis said...

What an amazing legacy...like Dylan, a spokesman of our times....such a gentleman..can't say enough about this gift to all of us..

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