There's a Blaze of Light in Every Word
Leonard in the 1980s

"...I never depended too much on inspiration. Everyone I know is inspired in the sense that everybody has flashes of insight and moments of deep feeling and seizures of emotion. I don't think writers have any corner on that kind of experience. But the thing that comes next, which is the application, or the perspiration not the inspiration, that's what makes a writer."
-- Radio broadcast in Sydney, Australia by ABC, March 1980
Another Room Magazine, Spring 1985

Photograph by Alfred Steffen, April, 1988

"With any artist who survives past his lyrical twenties, a central quality is perseverance. A lot of people decide not to go on when they realize exactly what is involved in the life of a writer. Many people, very legitimately, decide they don't want to lead this kind of life, so people drop away. And the people that remain, remain with their eyes wide open realizing that it is a very specialized kind of existence that has enormous rewards but involves you in a kind of daily life that leaves much to be desired."
-- Another Room Magazine, Spring 1985

"Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means 'Glory to the Lord.' The song explains that many kinds of hallelujahs do exist. I say, 'All the perfect and broken hallelujahs have an equal value.' It's, as I say, a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion."

-- Guitare et Claviers, 1985, from Diamonds in the Lines: Leonard Cohen in his own live words

Photograph by James Cassimus
Musician, July 1988

Photographs by James Cassimus
Musician, July 1988
"We're drawn to the truth. We're drawn to the truth when we hear it and when we see it. We're hungry for the truth. We're always surprised because the truth manifests itself in so many different ways and in so many different forms. You can hear it for a moment from your friend, you can hear it from your wife, you can hear it from your children. You can hear it for a moment in a song on the radio. It is so precious when you hear it that you are immediately drawn to it. So I tend to be wary of confining this expression of truth to one kind of activity, one kind of artistic activity."
-- Leonard Cohen: A Portrait in First Person, a CBC documentary, 1988

Photograph by Sharon Weisz
Canadian Musician, April 1989

"...I never thought I had a voice in the sense of a singer's voice. I can hardly carry a tune but I think it's a true voice in the sense that it's not a lie. It presents the singer and the story he's telling."
-- Blitz, 1988

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Leonard in the 90s