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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cohen on Creativity in the Tower of Song

Terrific interview, from 1992, with he's-my-man, Leonard Cohen, on the process of songwriting and poetry writing--the "hard work" involved and his total dedication to this hard work, the need to the fully "cut the gem" to see if it's worth saving. 
My immediate realm of thought is bureaucratic and like a traffic jam. My ordinary state of mind is very much like the waiting room at the DMV… So to penetrate this chattering and this meaningless debate that is occupying most of my attention, I have to come up with something that really speaks to my deepest interests. Otherwise I nod off in one way or another. So to find that song, that urgent song, takes a lot of versions and a lot of work and a lot of sweat.
But why shouldn’t my work be hard? Almost everybody’s work is hard. One is distracted by this notion that there is such a thing as inspiration, that it comes fast and easy. And some people are graced by that style. I’m not. So I have to work as hard as any stiff, to come up with my payload.

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