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Interviewer: Do you ever feel that you have exploited relationships by writing about them? Leonard Cohen: That's the very least way in which I have exploited relationships. If that was the only way I'd exploited a relationship then I'm going straight to heaven. Are you kidding me? This is from an interview that year-old Leonard Cohen did with Q in It's easy to imagine a small chuckle bouncing off thehim shaking his head a little, a slight smile on his lips.

Cohen was in his early 30s when he stepped into the spotlight, guitar in hand, a poet's worth of evocations pouring from his mouth. His reservations, though, were tempered by his age, and the relative vastness of a grownup life already lived and abandoned by the time he hit New York. He was already a master of words by the age of 33 thanks to early successes: a published poet at age 15; the author of two critically acclaimed novels by He was at least 10 years older than most of his disciples and fans, the women and men who worshipped at his feet, eager to manifest their connection to the man's works with the man himself.

He was a gentleman, prone to a self-deprecation that has come off as self-confidence since his youth. His pursuit of beauty, appreciation of beauty, the ways in which he exulted and coveted and captured beauty in his words — what man couldn't understand that?

What woman wouldn't be flattered to be the focus of such a fiercely artistic, intellectual, romantic man? InCohen told the Village Voice, "I really am for the matriarchy. Cohen's charisma was part prophecy he claimed to be a direct descendant of Aaroninheritance his father died at the age of nine, leaving him the de facto "man of the house"and learned behaviour.

His charm was old-world and European, but it was not pure instinct or birthright. It was also observed and chosen, as if he realized early on the power of a man who could occupy the shape of a doomed romantic, who would be able to control and master, even subconsciously, gendered social conventions that would earn him favour with women and men, that would make him something of a legend or a hero on his artist's journey.

He was always good at approximating the angles and bent neck of a man who listened with understanding and appreciated women with his whole body. But he also projected the spirit of a wanderer, a rogue, a man who was restless and eventually reckless. Someone who would always see himself as the one who was left behind even as he was taking to the sea, putting cities and countries and oceans between himself and the goddesses who could no longer inspire brilliance, who were best preserved in memory rather than contend with their gradual transformation from muse to mere woman.

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Since the beginning, he was painted as equal parts long-suffering, lonely boy and lanky lothario, and to a certain extent, Cohen fed into both of those personas. In this Newsday article fromhe apparently found it amusing that he was "an object of lust" in the s. By the time that first record came out, which rescued me, I was already in such a shattered situation that I found myself living at the Henry Hudson Hotel on West 57th Street, going to the Morningstar Cafe on Eighth Avenue, trying to find some way to approach the waitress and ask her out.

I would get letters of longing from around the world, and I would find myself walking the streets of New York at three in the morning, trying to strike up conversations with the women selling cigarettes in hotels. I think it's always like that. It's never delivered to you. Reading Cohen's own words and thoughts about sex, marriage, women and dating, is both intoxicating and exhausting. His intellect was deep and precise — even his conversational musings were an intricate choreography of language — so much so that every sentence was a complex seduction.

But in an effort to better understand a man like Leonard Cohen, we have to know a bit more about the women he loved and the women who loved him in return. Collins discovered Leonard Cohen, sort of.

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She told CBC Music about the event in a interview. She also wrote about their close relationship in her book, Judy Blue Eyes — My Life in Music: "I remember being in bed with a man I did not know who was coming down from an acid trip and wanted me to 'comfort him,' no sex involved.

Leonard sat in the room with us, singing 'The Stranger Song' softly to himself, not paying any attention at all to what was happening on the bed. The Chelsea Hotel indeed! I trusted Leonard completely in very intimate situations and although we never had an intimate exchange of that kind ourselves, he was a constant ally I could take into battle with no fear of betrayal.

The longtime friends and one-time lovers go back ages. These photos of them are lovely and allegedly represent the first time they met, backstage at a Judy Collins workshop at the Newport Folk Fest in According to Cohencentric, Cohen, who was nine years older than Mitchell, spent a month living at her Laurel Canyon home when Hollywood wanted him to score a movie based on his song "Suzanne. He sat up all the night and he watched me to see who in the world I could be. And after years of her constantly being told that Cohen was "obviously" an influence on her own songs but never that Mitchell could have possibly been an influence on CohenMitchell said this in a Border Crossings interview: "I met him when I was around 24, around the time of my first record.

But thematically I wanted to be broader than he was. In many ways Leonard was a boudoir poet. Giving me head on the unmade bed, While the limousines wait in the street. It's an indiscretion for which I'm very sorry. And if there is some way of apologizing to a ghost, I want to apologize now for having committed that indiscretion. But I liked her work so much; she was that good that you feel the body of work she left behind is just too brief…. There are certain kinds of artists that blaze in a very bright light for a very brief time: the Rimbauds, the Shelleys, Tim Buckley — people like that; and Janis was one of them.

Cohen's one-time partner, and the famed subject of his beloved song "So Long Marianne," Marianne Ihlen died earlier this year on July 29 at the age of Though she and Cohen parted ways in the '60s, she asked her close friend, documentarian Jan Christian Mollestad, to notify Cohen of her impending death from leukemia. Cohen wrote back quickly, and the story went viral. Rosemary Barton: I know you don't have the letter in front of you, but can you remember part of it?

Mollestad: It said, "Well Marianne it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I've always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don't need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend.

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Endless love, see you down the road…" When I read the lines "stretch out your hand," she stretched out her hand. Only two days later she lost consciousness and slipped into death. I wrote a letter back to Leonard saying in her final moments I hummed "A Bird on a Wire" because that was the song she felt closest to.

And then I kissed her on the head and left the room, and said "so long, Marianne. InIhlen agreed to be interviewed about her relationship with Cohen. When asked what he looked like then, she replied, "Oh, he was beautiful! Haven't you seen pictures of Leonard when he was young? Oh yes, you have.

He was marvellous. Neither did he think that he looked like much. We both had problems. You have no idea. We often stood in front of the mirror before going out and wondered who we were today and stuff like that.

Oh God, how strange we human beings are. I have to say that. He in fact reminded me very much of grandma. Her energy, her enormous presence. You could really trust in him. It was like You know?! I can impossibly be all that much. He then drove me all the way home to Norway in this car. That was when I understood this was something more than friendship. But at that point I was knocked out. I was very One after the other.

But when he went back to Montreal it didn't take long before I received a telegram: 'Have house, all I need is my woman and her son. Love Leonard. And a gift for Leonard, I might also add, not to underestimate myself completely. And that's what it was. However, I think it has been sort of an opener for the rest of life for us both, for better or worse. Cohen called her the "perfect Aryan ice queen," and quickly became besotted with Nico, singer and Velvet Underground guest vocalist, following her all over New York.

Cohen said, "Nico eventually told me, 'Look, I like young boys. You're just too old for me. Through her I met Lou Reed who, when he admitted he had always liked my writing, I was surprised to find he had read me. And I met John Cale. But 'tea and oranges' sounds better, doesn't it? She lived near the water in Montreal. And she did used to 'take you down to her place near the river'. You could 'hear the boats go by' and you could 'spend the night beside her.

Mostly because she was married to a friend of mine and I couldn't touch her with anything else! Ina year-old Cohen met year-old Suzanne Elrod.

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