The fire goes down easily

He never described himself as a poet or his work as poetry. The fact that the lines do not come to the edge of the page is no guarantee. Poetry is a verdict, not an occupation. He hated to argue about the techniques of verse. The poem is a dirty, bloody, burning thing that has to be grabbed first with bare hands. Once the fire celebrated Light, the dirt Humility, the blood Sacrifice. Now the poets are professional fire-eaters, freelancing at any carnival. The fire goes down easily and honours no one in particular.

— Leonard Cohen, The Favourite Game


2 responses to “The fire goes down easily

  1. Poetry is a verdict, not an occupation. I have worked with a few poets who when they do display their poetry it is like a kaleidoscope of colours, illuminated by a cleverly designed fireworks display. Awesome!

  2. great old Leonard
    beautiful poet. words like knives, cutting straight into the heart.
    i have read all is published songs, but only two books. the Book of Longing – a wonderful masterpiece and Beautiful Losers – which i must say i still have not grasp fully, yet it is full of small things the enlightened my moment

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