Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hopes and Tears

                 2011 – Athens - Syntagma Square
                                                       by Odysseas Heavilayias
       In Syntagma Square
                                          [the people protesting,
              food and employment are requesting….

             The cause Austerity and Poverty.
             The police treat them with vulgarity.

             The rulers
                        [at the peak of unpopularity..

             I see between smoke
                                    [and tear gas,
             a placard lying on the grass………
             I read the torn slogan,
                              and right on cue...

            - "Leonard, I remembered
                       [your verse, and you.."

* Extract from "The Broken Mooring Line", an experiential
poetic work // page c12 // e-mail: //
Texts and Narration: Odysseus Heavilayias - ROTTERDAM //
Language adjustments and text adaptation: Kellene G Safis - CHICAGO//
Digital adaptation and text editing: Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga - PIRAEUS


2011 - When Leonard Cohen, mentally through,
visited Constitution Square in Athens

              First We Take Manhattan
                                       by Leonard Cohen

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within,

I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'd really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I don't like your fashion business mister
And I don't like these drugs that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'd really like to live beside you, baby

And I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin
I practiced every night, now I'm ready
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I am guided

Ah remember me, I used to live for music
Remember me, I brought your groceries in
Well it's Father's Day and everybody's wounded
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin…


Music video by Leonard Cohen performing First We Take Manhattan
(C) 1988 Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.

*  Note : There are rarely definitive answers to anything Leonard has written (and indeed it is the purpose of poetry to invoke feelings and moods in people, even if the actual images conjured are completely different from one person to the next.

Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work has explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature.

The critic Bruce Eder assessed Cohen's overall career in popular music by asserting that "[he is] one of the most fascinating and enigmatic … singer/songwriters of the late '60s … [and] has retained an audience across four decades of music-making … Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century."

The Academy of American Poets has commented more broadly on Cohen's overall career in the arts, including his work as a poet, novelist, and songwriter, stating that "[Cohen's] successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than 200 of Cohen's poems … several novel excerpts, and almost 60 song lyrics … While it may seem to some that Leonard Cohen departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a Renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines."

  the tales of a greek sailor 

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