Presentation on theme: "Brandon Howland. Biography Leonard Norman Cohen was born in Montreal, PQ in 1934. In his life he has written nine volumes of poetry, two novels, and now."— Presentation transcript:
Biography Leonard Norman Cohen was born in Montreal, PQ in 1934. In his life he has written nine volumes of poetry, two novels, and now fourteen records of albums. Leonards father died when he was nine years old. Years later he went on to attend McGill university,where at 17 he formed at country-western trio called the Buckskin Boys. Cohen’s lyrics are emotionally heavy, and usually very complex. Most of Cohen’s early songs and poems are a folk style; beginning in the 1970’s his focus turned to various types of rock music.
Poem 1 The Genius I will be a ghetto jew and dance and put white stockings on my twisted limbs and poison wells across the town For you I will be an apostate jew and tell the Spanish priest of the blood vow in the Talmud and where the bones of the child are hid
For you I will be an apostate jew and tell the Spanish priest of the blood vow in the Talmud and where the bones of the child are hid For you I will be a banker jew and bring to ruin a proud old hunting king and end his line
For you I will be a Broadway jew and cry in theatres for my mother and sell bargain goods beneath the counter For you I will be a doctor jew and search in all the garbage cans for foreskins to sew back again
For you I will be a Dachau jew and lie down in lime with twisted limbs and bloated pain no mind can understand
Poem 2 Bird On The Wire Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free. Like a worm on a hook, like a knight from some old fashioned book I have saved all my ribbons for thee. If I, if I have been unkind, I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue I hope you know it was never to you. Like a baby, stillborn, like a beast with his horn I have torn everyone who reached out for me. But I swear by this song and by all that I have done wrong I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, he said to me, "You must not ask for so much.“ And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, she cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?" Oh like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free.
Discussion Questions What is the theme of this poem? Do you think this poem has to do with a past event in Leonard Cohen’s life? What do you think is meant by the line “like a drunk in a midnight choir”?
Analysis Summary: Leonard Cohen’s poem, Bird On The Wire is about a quest for freedom and how he hurt people on his way. “I have torn everyone who reached out for me.” This poem also seems to talk about a desire within everyone to truly be free, and not be influenced by things in our everyday lives, such as what people say to change the way we act. Effective Imagery: “I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch” – Imagery -”Like a bird on the wire”-imagery -”And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,” –alliteration -”like a drunk in a midnight choir “-simile -” Like a baby, stillborn, “-description
Analysis Theme: I believe that the theme to this poem is freedom. The reason I believe the theme is freedom is because all throughout the poem he talks about he wants to forget his past and all the bad things he did, and just be “free” of it. Another reason I believe its about having freedom is the last line, “I have tried in my way to be free.” In conclusion I find this poem difficult to understand due to all of the mixed emotions in it. This poem also includes some rebellion in it. The line “like a drunk in a midnight choir” refers to someone rebelling by being drunk in a choir. The “bird on the wire” symbolizes freedom that everyone can have, but are still connected to the “real" world. The bird is high on a wire, like its free, but still its connected to the wire.
Poem 3 Dance Me To The End Of Love Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove Dance me to the end of love Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn Dance me to the end of love Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
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