Leonard cohen quotes (149)

Motivational Quotes by Leonard Cohen

In this blog post, we selected the best motivational quotes by Leonard Cohen, that will help you in times of sorrow, heartbreak, but also joy and hope. 

Leonard cohen quotes (149)

Leonard Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter known for his iconic baritone voice and poetic lyrics.

You probably are familiar with his most famous compositions – “Hallelujah,” a song released on 1984’s Various Positions.

Cohen published his first poems in March 1954 in the magazine CIV/n. His first published book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956), was published by Dudek as the first book in the McGill Poetry Series the year after Cohen’s graduation.

The book contained poems written largely when Cohen was between the ages of 15 and 20, and Cohen dedicated the book to his late father.

Cohen continued to write poetry and fiction throughout much of the 1960s and preferred to live in quasi-reclusive circumstances after he bought a house on Hydra, a Greek island in the Saronic Gulf.

While living and writing on Hydra, Cohen published the poetry collection Flowers for Hitler (1964), and the novels The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966).

Cohen’s writing process, as he told an interviewer in 1998, was “like a bear stumbling into a beehive or a honey cache: I’m stumbling right into it and getting stuck, and it’s delicious and it’s horrible and I’m in it and it’s not very graceful and it’s very awkward and it’s very painful and yet there’s something inevitable about it.

In 2011 Cohen was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for literature. 

Leonardo Cohen died on November 7, 2016, at the age of 82. At the time of the public announcement of Cohen’s passing on November 10, few details were revealed as to the circumstances.

A week later, his manager Robert B. Kory stated the songwriter had fallen on the evening of November 7 and died in his sleep that night. “The death was sudden, unexpected and peaceful,” said Kory. 

An interactive exhibit dedicated to the life and career of Leonard Cohen opened on November 9, 2017, at Montreal’s contemporary art museum (MAC) entitled “Leonard Cohen: Une Brèche en Toute Chose / A Crack in Everything” and ran until April 9, 2018.

Fans and celebrities reacted to the music legend’s passing on social media, often quoting his profound and poetic lyrics.

In January 2018, Cohen was posthumously awarded a Grammy for Best Rock Performance, for “You Want It Darker.”

It was his first competitive Grammy win in a career that spanned a half-century. 

5 Leonardo Cohen Quotes

1.   “When we are touched by a song, it is because the artist cannot hide himself”

2.   “I don’t know which side is anybody on anymore. I don’t really care. There is a moment when we have to transcend the side we’re on and understand that we are creatures of a higher order”

3.   “We’re in a world where there’s famine and hunger and people are dodging bullets and having their nails pulled out in dungeons so it’s very hard for me to place any high value on the work that I do to write a song. Yeah, I work hard but compared to what?”

4.   “I don’t trust my inner feelings, inner feelings come and go”

5.   “Every time you grab at love you will lose a snowflake of your memory”

15 Leonard Cohen Quotes

1.   “I don’t get a lot of mail but some of the mail I get says if a song or something got them through the night. I think it’s important to be able to name the sorrow from time to time. We are living in a butchers’ shop and if your embrace is wide enough you can take in some of those corners.” – Hot Properties TV interview, 1985

2.    “When something good comes, you have to be prepared to polish it, carve it and chisel it, that’s the work. But the actual intention, what you are really going to be writing about, that’s going to come up from a really authentic place that is deep and over which you exercise no conscious control.” – The Telegraph, 2014

3.    “I’m a closet optimist” – The Telegraph, 2014

4.   “There’s been so much talk about the mechanics of happiness. Psychiatry and pills and positive thinking and ideology. But I really think that the mechanism is there. All you have to do is get quiet for a moment until you know where you are… You can cooperate with the vision that alcohol gives you, you can cooperate with the vision that LSD gives you. All those things are just made out of plants, and they’re there for us and I think we ought to use them. But also there’s another kind of high to get from refusing to use them.”

5.    “I remember one day I was in a very exalted state and I saw a bunch of cows in a field. And I noticed how beautiful they were that I got down on my knees to worship them. And, do you know, those cows were so happy. The more I worshipped them the happier they became. And to make a metaphor out of it, it’s exactly the same with ladies.” – The Evening Standard, 1968

6.   “I’d been living on an island in the Mediterranean for some time. Never completely—I’d always have to come back to Canada to put money together—but I was living for a thousand dollars a year there. I’d come back to make a thousand dollars and my boat or plane fare then go back for as long as that would last. I wrote a lot of books there and a lot of songs.” – KCRW-FM radio interview, 1988

7.   “My tunes often deal with a moral crisis. I often feel myself a part of such a crisis and try to relate it in song. There’s a line in a poem I wrote that sums this up perfectly: ‘My betrayals are so fresh they still come with explanations.’

8.   “My life was filled with great disorder, with chaos, and I achieved a little discipline there. So I decided to return to music.”

9.   “It was dangerous to accept a potato chip at a cocktail party [in 1960s new York]. I speak literally. It could be sprinkled with acid. I went to somebody’s room who was having a cocktail party, had a few chips, and four days later was still trying to find my room. The Guardian, 2001.

10.                 “At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to put your house in order. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order, if you can do it, is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are incalculable.” – The New Yorker, 2016

11.                 What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love.”

12.                  “I think marriage is the hottest furnace of the spirit today. Much more difficult than solitude, much more challenging for people who want to work on themselves. It’s a situation in which there are no alibis, excruciating most of the time… but it’s only in this situation that any kind of work can be done.”

13.                  “This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love. You know, we have the sense that we cannot live without love, that life has very little meaning without it.”

14.                  “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

15.                  “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”

20 Leonard Cohen Quotes

1.  “Going nowhere … isn’t about turning your back on the world; it’s about stepping away now and then so that you can see the world more clearly and love it more deeply.”

2. “Dear Hitler

Take away the torches I’m not guilty I had to have this”

3. “He hated the men floating in sleep in the big stone houses. Because their lives were ordered and their rooms tidy. Because they got up every morning and did their public work. Because they weren’t going to dynamite their factories and have naked parties in the fire.”

4. There is a war between the rich and poor,

a war between the man and the woman.

There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn’t.”

5. “You came to me this morning

And you handled me  meat

You’d have to be a man to know

How good that feels, how sweet”

6. “You, who must leave everything/ that you cannot control/ it begins with your family, but soon it comes round/ to your soul/ well, I’ve been where you’re hanging, I think I can see how you’re pinned/ when you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says/ that youve sinned”

7. “Coroner’s inquest: death by drowning. And he hasn’t been to the sea-shore in ten years.”

8. “I am running through a snowfall which is her thighs, he dramatized in purple. Her thighs are filling up the street. Wide as a snowfall, heavy as huge falling Zeppelins, her damp thighs are settling on the sharp roofs and wooden balconies. Weather-vanes press the shape of roosters and sail-boats into the skin. The faces of famous statues are preserved  intaglios….”

9. “I bargain now. I offer buttons for his love.”

10.  “So the great affair is over but whoever would have guessed

it would leave us all so vacant and so deeply unimpressed

It’s  our visit to the moon or to that other star

I guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far.”

11.   “Blessed is the covenant of love, the covenant of mercy, useless light behind the terror, deathless song in the house of night.”

12.   The maestro says it’s Mozart but it sounds  bubble gum”

13.   I showed my heart to the doctor/

He said I just had to quit”

14.   “Poetry is a verdict, not an occupation.”

15.   “Blessed are you who circled desire with a blade, and the garden with fiery swords, and heaven and earth with a word.”

16.   “There is a crack in everything”

17.   “I’m not looking for another

As I wander in my time”

18.  “I’m just waiting for the miracle to come”

19.   …And everything depends upon how near you sleep to me.”

“The first star tonight insanely high, virgin, calm.

I have one hour of peace before the documented planets burn me down.”

Leonard cohen quotes (149)

25 Leonard Cohen Quotes

1.  “The Maestro says it’s Mozart but it sounds  bubble gum when you’re waiting for the miracle to come.”

2. “If you want a lover

I’ll do anything you ask me to.

And if you want another kind of love

I’ll wear a mask for you.”

3. “It’s a pity if someone… has to console himself for the wreck of his days with the notion that somehow his voice, his work embodies the deepest, most obscure, freshest, rawest oyster of reality in the unfathomable refrigerator of the heart’s ocean, but I am such a one, and there you have it.”

4. “As the mist leaves no scar

On the dark green hill

So my body leaves no scar

On you and never will”

5. “I don’t even hate books anymore.”

6. At first nothing will happen to us

and later on

it will happen to us again.”

7. “I followed the course

From chaos to art

Desire the horse

Depression the cart”

8. I told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you”

9. “Everything has a crack in it; that’s how the light gets in.”

10.  “I don’t want to be a star, merely dying.”

11.   He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such as balancing monsters of love.”

12.   “In Montreal, spring is an autopsy. Everyone wants to see the inside of the frozen mammoth. Girls rip off their sleeves and the flesh is sweet and white,  wood under green bark. From the streets a sexual manifesto rises an inflating tire, “the winter has not killed us again!”

13.   “Be with me in the phases of my work because my brain feels it has been whipped and I yearn to make a small perfect thing which will live in your morning curious static through a president’s elegy or a nude hunchback acquiring a tan on the crowded oily beach. ”

14.   “I’m afraid to live any place but in expectation. I’m no life-risk.”

15.   “After a while, if you are sufficiently bored or unemployed, you may want to read it from cover to cover.”

16.   “I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That’s what sitting on your ass does to your face.”

17.   “It is in love that we are made, in love we disappear.”

18.  Well, I am the one who loves changing from nothing to one.”

19.   “Games are nature’s most beautiful creation”

20.  It is easy to display a wound, the proud scars of combat. It is hard to show a pimple”

21.   I’ll be marching through the morning,

Marching through the night,

Moving ‘cross the borders

Of My Secret Life.”

22.  “Your faith was strong, but you needed proof…”

23.  “Only one thing made him happy and now that it was gone everything made him happy.”

24.  “When passion dies

friendship hovers around our flesh  flies”

25.  “We met when we were almost young”

30 Leonard Cohen Quotes

  1. Follow me, the wise man said, but he walked behind.
  2. Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore
  3. I want to be paid for my work, not work for my pay.
  4. When we are touched by a song, it is because the artist cannot hide himself.
  5. When things get really bad, just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig. That’s about all you can do.
  6. I found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win. You abandon your masterpiece and sink into the real masterpiece.
  7. The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.
  8. The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.
  9. You who wish to conquer pain, you must learn what makes one kind.
  10. At the very center of our culture is a crucified man, a tortured man hanging on a cross of wood. You have an image of violence at the very center of our spiritual investigation.
  11. Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove Dance me to the end of love
  12. When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you.
  13. Your heart opens and of course, you’re completely panicked because you’re used to guarding this organ with your life.
  14. Love is the only engine of survival
  15. I’ve seen the nations rise and fall. I’ve heard their stories, heard them all, but love’s the only engine of survival.
  16. It’s been a long time since I’ve stood on a stage in London. Was about 14 or 15 years ago, I was 60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream. Since then I’ve taken a lot of Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Ritalin, Focalin. I’ve also studied deeply in the philosophies and the religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through.
  17. You live your life as if it’s real…….a thousand kisses deep
  18. Do not be a magician – be magic!
  19. You lose your grip, and then you slip into the Masterpiece.
  20. I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people, that it really is there.
  21. I don’t really understand that process called reincarnation but if there is such a thing I’d like to come back as my daughter’s dog.
  22. Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free!!
  23. There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn’t.
  24. You are locked into your suffering and your pleasures are the seal.
  25. Avoid flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty .
  26. Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
  27. Fare thee well my nightingale, I lived but to be near you. Thow you are singing somewhere still I can no longer hear you.
  28. Fare thee well my nightingale, I lived but to be near you. Thow you are singing somewhere still I can no longer hear you.
  29. Don’t dwell on what has passed away or what is yet to be.
  30. It doesn’t matter what you do because it’s going to happen anyway.

35 Leonard Cohen Quotes

1.      “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”

2.      The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.”

3.      Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

4.      “Children show scars  medals. Lovers use them as a secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”

5.      “How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?”

6.      “I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.”

7.      “Never make a decision when you need to pee.”

8.      You go your way

I’ll go your way too”

9.      If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.” 

10.   “Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look  you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty .”

11.   “Here’s to the few who forgive what you do, and the fewer who don’t even care”

12.   “Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore”

13.   “I have tried in my way to be free.”

14.   “I cannot understand why my arm is not a lilac tree.”

15.    “Do not be a magician – be magic!”

16.                 “My reputation as a ladies’ man was a joke that caused me to laugh bitterly through the ten thousand nights I spent alone.”

17.                 “As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armor themselves against wonder. ”

18.   “The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.”

19.   “It’s hard to hold the hand of anyone who is reaching for the sky just to surrender”

20.   “Don’t call yourself a secret

unless you mean to keep it.”

21.    “a kite is a victim you are sure of.

you love it because it pulls.”

22.   I have often prayed for you

 this

Let me have her”

23.   Act the way you’d  to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

24.   “It doesn’t matter how anything happens.”

25.   “My interest in this pack of failures betrays my character.”

26.    “In our rags of light, all dressed to kill.”

27.    “I will not be held  a drunkard / under the cold tap of facts”

28.   “Who could have foretold

the heart grows old

from touching others”

29.   “I found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win. You abandon your masterpiece and sink into the real masterpiece.”

30.   “Garages, barns and attics are always older than the buildings to which they are attached.

31.   “It’s four in the morning, the end of december

I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better.”

32.    “It’s a bear stumbling into a beehive or a honey cache: I’m stumbling right into it and getting stuck, and it’s delicious and it’s horrible and I’m in it and it’s not very graceful and it’s very awkward and it’s very painful and yet there’s something inevitable about it.”

33.   “I am not the one who loved, it’s love that chooses me.

When hatred with it’s package comes, you forbid delivery.”

34.   “ Believe nothing of me

except that I felt your beauty

more closely than my own.”

35. “Stunned and still not suffering. Swollen with care and anxiety and still not suffering. Useless, old and full of grief, but still not suffering.”

Leonard cohen quotes (149)

40 Leonard Cohen Quotes

1.   “Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty.”

2.    “Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute. Let generals secretly despair of triumph: killing will be defamed. Let priests secretly despair of faith: their compassion will be true.”

3.    “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

4.    “This is the very contrary of dropping out. Most people can’t wait to get home to their house or apartment and shut that door and turn on the TV. To me, that’s dropping out.”

5.    “When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you. . . It’s like taking a drink of cold water when you are thirsty. Every tastebud on your tongue, every molecule in your body says thank you.”

6.    “When I speak of depression, I speak of a clinical depression that is the background of your entire life, a background of anguish and anxiety, a sense that nothing goes well, that pleasure is unavailable and all your strategies collapse. I’m happy to report that, by imperceptible degrees and by the grace of good teachers and good luck, that depression slowly dissolved and has never returned with the same ferocity that prevailed for most of my life.”

7.   “If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick everyday.”

8.    “I think the term poet is a very exalted term, and should be applied to a man at the end of his work. When he looks back over the body of his work, and he’s written poetry, then let the verdict be that he is a poet.”

9.    “‘You have loved enough, now let me be the lover.’ You could say that God is speaking to you or the cosmos, or your lover. It just means, like, Forget it. Lean back and be loved by all that is already loving you. It is your effort at love that is preventing you from experiencing it.”

10.                  “I did my best, it wasn’t much. I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch. I told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you. And even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song, with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah…”

11.                 “I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.”

12.                 “You have money, fame, youth, beauty, talent. That’s a good start… for feeling good.”

13.                 “The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.”

14.                 “Growing old becomes clear to you at a certain point. I think it’s after the age of 70 you realize – you begin to actually be convinced – you’re growing older.”

15.                 “Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord That David played, and it pleased the Lord But you don’t really care for music, do you? It goes like this the fourth, the fifth The minor fall, the major lift The baffled king composing Hallelujah”

16.                 “A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love…”

17.                 “The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.”

18.                 “When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you.”

19.                 “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

20.                 “Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”

21.                 “Love is not a victory march”

22.                 “A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”

23.                 “We are not mad. We are human.We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.”

24.                 “I speak of a clinical depression that is the background of your entire life, a background of anguish and anxiety, a sense that nothing goes well, that pleasure is unavailable and all your strategies collapse.”

25.                 “We’re in a world where there’s famine and hunger and people are dodging bullets and having their nails pulled out in dungeons so it’s very hard for me to place any high value on the work that I do to write a song. Yeah, I work hard but compared to what?”

26.                 “Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute. Let generals secretly despair of triumph; killing will be defamed. Let priests secretly despair of faith: their compassion will be true.”

27.                 “You lose your grip, and then you slip into the Masterpiece.”

28.                 “It’s time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.”

29.                 “I cannot understand why my arm is not a lilac tree.”

30.                 “As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty.”

31.                 “There are always meaningful songs for somebody. People are doing their courting, people are finding their wives, people are making babies, people are washing their dishes, people are getting through the day, with songs that we may find insignificant. But their significance is affirmed by others. There’s always someone affirming the significance of a song by taking a woman into his arms or by getting through the night. That’s what dignifies the song. Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.”

32.                 “Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows.”

33.                 “I am running through a snowfall which is her thighs, he dramatized in purple. Her thighs are filling up the street. Wide as a snowfall, heavy as huge falling Zeppelins, her damp thighs are settling on the sharp roofs and wooden balconies. Weather-vanes press the shape of roosters and sail-boats into the skin. The faces of famous statues are preserved like intaglios….”

34.                 “Comic books, movies, radio programmes centered their entertainment around the fact of torture. With the clearest of consciences, with a patriotic intensity, children dreamed, talked, acted orgies of physical abuse. Imaginations were released to wander on a reconnaissance mission from Cavalry to Dachau. European children starved and watched their parents scheme and die. Here we grew up with toy whips. Early warning against our future leaders, the war babies.”

35.                 “Never make a decision when you need to pee.”

36.                 “I fought against the bottle, but I had to do it drunk. Took my diamond to the pawn shop, but that don’t make it junk.”

37.                 “Here’s to the few who forgive what you do, and the fewer who don’t even care”

38.                 “Deprivation is the mother of poetry.”

39.                 “Do not be a magician – be magic!”

40.                 “You live your life as if it’s real…….a thousand kisses deep”

45 Leonard Cohen Quotes

1.   “He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love”

2.   “We are awakening from the dream of isolation, from the dream of loneliness, and it’s a terrible shock.”

3.   “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act”

4.   “Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered”

5.   “The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world”

6.   “Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song”

7.   “Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove Dance me to the end of love”

8.   “Don’t dwell on what has passed away or what is yet to be”

9.   “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash”

10.                 “I couldn’t feel so I learned to touch.”

11.                 “This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love. You know, where we have the sense that we can’t live without love. That life has very little meaning without love”

12.                 “When you’re younger, you do have that thing that you were talking about where the mouth goes dry. I mean you have reactions, and you do fall in love.”

13.                 “Nothing can stop you from thinking. The human mind is designed to think continually”

14.                 “Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty”

15.                 “The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world”

16.                 “I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”

17.                 “Poetry is a verdict rather than an intention.”

18.                 “I said I was ready to die recently, and I think I was exaggerating.That declaration of readiness, no matter what the outcome, that’s a part of everyone’s soul”

19.                 “As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder”

20.                 “I am not the one who loves – It’s love that chooses me. When hatred with his package comes, you forbid delivery…”

21.                 “Love is the only engine of survival”

22.                 “As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty”

23.                 “You who wish to conquer pain, you must learn what makes one kind”

24.                 “I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin”

25.                 “When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you”

26.                 “A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh”

27.                 “We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear”

28.                 “A poem has a certain – a different time. For instance, a poem is a very private experience, and it doesn’t have a driving tempo. In other words, you know, you can go back and forward; you can comeback; you can linger. You know, it’s a completely different time reference.”

29.                 “To keep our hearts open is probably the most urgent responsibility you have as you get older”

30.                 “In the broken places, the light shines through.”

31.                 “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

32.                 “We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky”

33.                 “What a beautiful testament to the creative spirit and its true motives, to creative contribution coming from a place of purpose rather than a hunger for profit”

34.                 “We are ugly but we have the music”

35.                 “I smile when I’m angry , I cheat and I lie. I do what I have to do to get by. But I know what is wrong and I know what is right , and I’d die for the truth in my secret life”

36.                 “A cry of pain in itself is just that. It can affect you or you can turn away from it. But a piece of work that treats the experience that produced the cry of pain is a different matter altogether. The cry is transformed, alchemised, by the work by a certain objectivity that doesn’t surrender the emotion but gives it form. That’s the difference between life and art.” – The Guardian, 1976

37.                  “I don’t consider myself a pessimist at all. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel completely soaked to the skin,” – Daily Telegraph, 1993

38.                 “The record companies pressure me to force my songs because the stores want them to sell. I will not force my songs for them.” – NME, 1973

39.                 “This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love. You know, we have the sense that we cannot live without love, that life has very little meaning without it.” –The Guardian, 2009

40.                  “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

41.                 “I have always been attracted to the voluptuousness of austerity. I never chose the style of my life because it hurt. It was on the contrary. I feel most comfortable and most abundant when things are very simple and I know where everything is and there’s nothing around that I don’t need.”

42.                 “When I speak of depression, I speak of a clinical depression that is the background of your entire life, a background of anguish and anxiety, a sense that nothing goes well, that pleasure is unavailable and all your strategies collapse. I’m happy to report that, by imperceptible degrees and by the grace of good teachers and good luck, that depression slowly dissolved and has never returned with the same ferocity that prevailed for most of my life.” – The Guardian, 2012

43.                 “Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal.”

44.  “When something good comes, you have to be prepared to polish it, carve it and chisel it, that’s the work. But the actual intention, what you are really going to be writing about, that’s going to come up from a really authentic place that is deep and over which you exercise no conscious control.”

45.   “I’m a closet optimist”

50 Leonard Cohen Quotes

1.   Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.

2.   I always considered myself a minor writer. My province is small, and I try to explore it very, very thoroughly.

3.   Any startling piece of work has a subversive element in it, a delicious element often. Subversion is only disagreeable when it manifests in political or social activity.

4.   I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.

5.   Music is the emotional life of most people.

6.   There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

7.   This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love. You know, where we have the sense that we can’t live without love. That life has very little meaning without love.

8.   I didn’t want to write for pay. I wanted to be paid for what I write.

9.   Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered.

10.                 I can work on a verse for a very long time before realising it’s not any good and then, and only then, can I discard it.

11.                 The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world

12.                 Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as a secret to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh

13.                 How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?

14.                 Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty.

15.                 If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.

16.                 Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore.

17.                 First of all nothing will happen and a little later, nothing will happen again.

18.                 My reputation as a ladies’ man was a joke that caused me to laugh bitterly through the ten thousand nights I spent alone.

19.                 As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armor themselves against wonder.

20.                 It’s hard to hold the hand of anyone who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.

21.                 It doesn’t matter what you do because it’s going to happen anyway.

22.                 Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.

23.                 Music is the emotional life of most people.

24.                 I never had the sense that there was an end: that there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot.

25.                 I don’t really understand that process called reincarnation but if there is such a thing I’d like to come back as my daughter’s dog.

26.                 The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.

27.                 When things get really bad, just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig. That’s about all you can do.

28.                 I’ve always been into self-dramatization. I intend to live forever.

29.                 When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you.

30.                 A woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love.

31.                 All of my writing has guitars behind it, even the novels.

32.                 ‘The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.’

33.                 ‘Music is the emotional life of most people.’

34.                 ‘When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you.’

35.                 ‘Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.’

36.                 ‘Do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory.’

37.                 ‘How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me.’

38.                 ‘I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.’

39.                 We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.

40. I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.

41. Never make a decision when you need to pee.

42. To keep our hearts open is probably the most urgent responsibility you have as you get older.

43. We are not mad. We are human.We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.

44. May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude.

45. We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky.

46. If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.

47. Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.

48. I wish I could say everything in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end.

49. It’s the notion that there is no perfection – that there is a broken world and we live with broken hearts and broken lives but still there is no alibi for anything. On the contrary, you have to stand up and say hallelujah under those circumstances.

50. I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.

Other Mental health quotes which you may like

Below are other mental health quotes which may be of interest to you:

Meant to Be Quotes
Meditation quotes
Memorable Luke Skywalker Quotes
Mental health quotes
Mindfulness quotes
Motivational David Goggins Quotes
Narcissist quotes
Old soul quotes

Conclusions 

In this blog post, we selected some of the most famous and beautiful Leonardo Cohen quotes & sayings, wishing to inspire and motivate you to dream as big as you can. 

You can always come back to Leonardo Cohen’s lyrics. Whenever you feel sad, misunderstood, when you are grieving or too scared to take the leap.

You will most definitely find some words of relief in the author’s lyrics. 

Do you agree?

Let us know in the comments section below which Leonardo Cohen’s quote inspired you the most. 

Leonard cohen quotes (149)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.