Friday, November 11, 2016

For Leonard and Loss

Villanelle for Our Time

“From bitter searching of the heart,
Quickened with passion and with pain
We rise to play a greater part.

“This is the faith from which we start:
Men shall know commonwealth again
From bitter searching of the heart.

“We loved the easy and the smart,
But now, with keener hand and brain,
We rise to play a greater part.

“The lesser loyalties depart,
And neither race nor creed remain
From bitter searching of the heart.

“Not steering by the venal chart
That tricked the mass for private gain,
We rise to play a greater part.

“Reshaping narrow law and art
Whose symbols are the millions slain,
From bitter searching of the heart
We rise to play a greater part.”

-A nineteen-line Villanelle, quoted in tribute to Leonard Cohen who sang these words with their hope for our time that were written by Frank Scott.  "The lesser loyalties depart."  

“Your story was so long,
The plot was so intense,
It took you years to cross
The lines of self-defense.”

-From “The Letters” by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson.

“I have tried
in my way
to be free.”

1 comment:

  1. Notice this article in the New York Times, Dec. 6, 2016: Shozan Jack Haubner, “Ode to Leonard Cohen, From a Fellow Zen Monk."


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