Guest poem sent in by Laurie Edwards
(Poem #1949) The Dove
I saw the dove come down, the dove with the green twig, the childish dove out of the storm and flood. It came towards me in the style of the Holy Spirit descending. I had been sitting in a cafe for twenty-five years waiting for this vision. It hovered over the great quarrel. I surrendered to the iron laws of the moral universe which make a boredom out of everything desired. Do not surrender, said the dove. I have come to make a nest in your shoe. I want your step to be light.
From "Death of a Lady's Man" (1978) I love this poem -- when I first encountered it, it provided some encouragement to not surrender and allow everything desired to become "a boredom." I think it's interesting that although Leonard Cohen was a poet before he was a songwriter, some believe that he has only written song lyrics (cf Poem #624, Gift). It's certainly lucky, I think, that he did turn his creativity to music, so that his gift became more widely known than it might otherwise have been. I've also alway wondered about the Catholic icons and images that twine through his lyrics/poetry (as in The Dove, above), given that Cohen is a Jewish name. He was born in Montreal in 1934, and is now a committed Buddhist, having been ordained as a Buddhist monk and given the (ironic? appropriate?) name Jikan (Silent One). Laurie D. Edwards [Links] Biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Cohen Official Cohen website: http://www.leonardcohen.com/