A grand unified question: What do hope and passion mean to you?
Jose Gonzalez: To hope something means to wish something, to imagine something and then wish for it to come true. It is something that I am involved with in writing lyrics – I hope – in aiming or articulating a utopia – even if it is not possible to reach. The idea of hoping something could be picturing yourself as an individual in a utopic, euphoric place – or just a comfortable place, whatever that means to anyone. Hope is nice. Depending on your utopia that could be a very strange or even a very negative thing when put into context with other people’s utopias… that is the interesting thing. Passion is the idea of engagement – of pursuing something in a positive move. Nice words. I like the combination. Nothing but hope and passion…
Source : https://nbhap.com/people/jose-gonzalez
Pitchfork: You said you went through a time when you weren’t writing, or felt like you couldn’t sing anymore.
Jeff: I went through a period, after Aeroplane , when a lot of the basic assumptions I held about reality started crumbling. I think that before then, I had an intuitive innocence that guided me and that was a very good thing to a certain point. But then I realized that, to a large degree, I had kept my rational mind at bay my whole life. I just acted on intuition in terms of how I related to life. At some point, my rational mind started creeping in, and it would not shut up. I finally had to address it and confront it. I think most intelligent people, at a younger age than I have, begin to question some of the fundamental assumptions our society promotes. But me, I just rejected it without even considering it.
I feel like we’re so limited by the context at which we look at life. The way we look at who we’re supposed to be and how we’re supposed to love… everything. I feel like that, in and of itself, is a project of a lifetime: the problem of how to break out of the limiting context that is imposed upon us by the educational system, by the church, by our parents… As a kid I rejected it without even thinking about it. Now that I’m a little older, I see how deeply destructive it really is. treating people as property is destructive; being jealous of other people is destructive. You know, being jealous is a perfectly natural thing to feel, so it’s not about suppressing jealousy, but learning to come to terms with it and to recognize its destructiveness and then to transform it. I’m not saying that I’ve overcome anything, but I’ve definitely seen the blinding truth of how imperative it is that we have to overcome these problems.
Rogers: But I think in some of the songs that you’ve written there’s such a close relationship with poetry obviously, but form too. There’s a soundtrack to Night Magic where you wrote the lyrics in Spenserian ode form.
image source : internet
Cohen: I’ve always been interested in form, maybe because I don’t trust my own spontaneous nature to come up with anything interesting, and form imposes a certain opportunity to get deeper than your first thought. There’s a school of poetry that believes first thought, best thought. That would have condemned me to an inauspicious superficiality if I had followed that, because I don’t have any ideas. Irving Layton once said to me, “Leonard is free from ideas.” I don’t have an idea and I don’t trust my opinions. I think my opinions are second-rate, but when you submit yourself to a form, then something happens and you’re invited to dig deeper into the language and to discard the slogans by which you live, the easy alibis of language and of opinion. And if you’re looking in the Spenserian stanza, for instance—which is a very, very intricate verse form—you have to come up with many rhymes of the same sound; you’re invited to explore realms that you usually don’t get to in ordinary, easy thought. I’ve considered my thought stream extremely uninteresting, and it’s only when I can discard it that I find I can say something that I can get behind.
source : https://brickmag.com/an-interview-with-leonard-cohen/