Ten New Songs



Each new thread in the tapestry of Leonard Cohen’s art (songs, poems, novels, etc.) loops back through the same timeless, borderless grid and disappears into the grand design of a single vision. The word “new” in the title of the CD, Ten New Songs, might mean something in a catalog of Cohen’s work, but it means absolutely nothing to a listener or reader. He’s been called a saint, along the lines of Katherine Tekakwitha, the historical object of desire in his 1966 novel Beautiful Losers. He’s been called a prophet for rendering beauty out of a stillness that lets his work transcend time. The stillness can be felt as a cold ghost on the first track on Ten New Songs, “In My Secret Life.” “And I miss you so much/There’s no one in sight/And we’re still making love/In my secret life.” Cohen’s depressive, ecstatic poetic style is, after all, an expression of a soul constantly looking back at itself from some imagined place in the future. By the time he confessed to being a ladies’ man, the ladies’ man was already dead. Cohen’s static dreams constantly anticipate, as if aftermath were the only place to really begin. He continues to construct the perpetual love song by his own rules and romantic dimensions — “A Thousand Kisses Deep.” On Ten New Songs, Cohen still slow dances alone inside the ongoing song, entertained, identified and enlightened by his own visions: “In streams of light I clearly saw/The dust you seldom see/Out of which the nameless makes/A name for one like me” (“Love Itself”). He stops, he turns and begins again.

E-mail Norene Cashen at letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.