Below some of Leonard’s poems and where he’d mostly write them:
Sanctuary of a Temporary Kind: Leonard Cohen
reblogged from here
While many are familiar with Leonard Cohen’s memorable songs of erotic encounters in hotel rooms, there is a lesser-known narrative of the hotel that Cohen offers in the 1965 National Film Board documentary, Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen. This was a time when Cohen was known for his poetry rather than his song writing, and the film catches him on a return trip from Greece to his hometown of Montréal. He is staying in a $3-a-night hotel in Montréal’s Tenderloin district–an area of the city centered on the corner of St. Laurent and Ste. Catherine streets.
The hotel room, Cohen says, is a sanctuary, a refuge, an oasis. It is a place to lay low and pursue the five hours of writing that he likes to commit to each day. As he rises from bed, looks out the window and washes up, Cohen’s voiceover offers his appreciation for the room: “You always have a feeling in a hotel room that you are on the lam; and it’s one of the safe moments in the escape, it’s that breathing spot. The hotel room is the oasis of the downtown; it’s a kind of temple of refuge. It’s sanctuary, sanctuary of a temporary kind, therefore all the more delicious. But whenever I come into a hotel room, and there is the moment after the door is shut and the lights you haven’t turned on illumine a very comfortable, anonymous, subtly hostile environment, and you know that you’ve found the little place in the grass and the hounds are going to go by; for three more hours, you’re going to have a drink, light a cigarette, and take a long time shaving.”
Poem 17 (“I perceived the outline of your breasts …”) from “The Energy of Slaves”
I perceived the outline of your breasts
through your Hallowe’en costume
I knew you were falling in love with me
because no other man could perceive
the advance of your bosom into his imagination
It was a rupture of your unusual modesty
for me and me alone
through which you impressed upon my shapeless hunger
the incomparable and final outline of your breasts
like two deep fossil shells
which remained all night long and probably forever
Poem (“I heard of a man …”) from “Let Us Compare Mythologies”
I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.
If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms like tumors on our lips.
it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside the door.
Summer-Haiku from “The Spice-Box of Earth”
For Frank and Marian Scott
and a deeper silence
when the crickets