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60 Leonard Cohen Quotes That Will Draw a ‘Hallelujah’ From Your Lips

Our latest collection of Leonard Cohen quotes to inspire and motivate you.

I didn’t realize that Leonard Cohen was the original artist of one of my all-time favorite songs. If you are wondering which song he is best known for the answer is ‘Hallelujah!’

Leonard wrote this song back in 1984, but it wasn’t a big hit. However, John Cale recorded his version, which then inspired a version by Jeff Buckley. The song would end up being featured in a 2001 DreamWorks film that featured the world’s favorite green ogre… Shrek!

Many artists have recorded their own versions of the song, and it can sometimes be hard to pick who has the best version of ‘Hallelujah.’ For me, it’s between Pentatonix and Rufus Wainwright.

Leonard Cohen did a lot of other works during his time as a poet and a songwriter. I cover most of them in all these Leonard Cohen quotes.

Don’t forget to also check out these Steven Furtick quotes that will illuminate your divine purpose.

Leonard Cohen quotes about love

1. “My reputation as a ladies’ man was a joke that caused me to laugh bitterly through the ten thousand nights I spent alone.” ― Leonard Cohen

2. “Love is the only engine of survival.” ― Leonard Cohen

3. “You live your life as if it’s real… a thousand kisses deep.” ― Leonard Cohen

4. “We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love, we disappear.” ― Leonard Cohen

5. “We are not mad. We are human. We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.” ― Leonard Cohen

6. “Dream after dream, we all lie in each other’s arms.” ― Leonard Cohen

7. “He let me be a student of a love that I will never be able to give.” ― Leonard Cohen

8. “Love is not a victory march; It’s a cold, and it’s a broken Hallelujah.” ― Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen quotes about life and poetry

9. “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” ― Leonard Cohen

10. “If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.” ― Leonard Cohen

11. “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ― Leonard Cohen

12. “The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.” ― Leonard Cohen

13. “How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?” ― Leonard Cohen

14. “Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.” ― Leonard Cohen

15. “Your body will never be familiar.” ― Leonard Cohen

16. “I cannot understand why my arm is not a lilac tree.” ― Leonard Cohen

17. “Deprivation is the mother of poetry.” ― Leonard Cohen

18. “I don’t want to be a star, merely dying.” ― Leonard Cohen

19. “But you don’t really care for music do ya?” ― Leonard Cohen

20. “We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky.” ― Leonard Cohen

Profound Leonard Cohen quotes

21. “I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.” ― Leonard Cohen

22. “Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms.  You are the image of my beauty.” ― Leonard Cohen

23. “Here’s to the few who forgive what you do, and the fewer who don’t even care.” ― Leonard Cohen

24. “It doesn’t matter what you do because it’s going to happen, anyway.” ― Leonard Cohen

25. “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.” ― Leonard Cohen

26. “It’s hard to hold the hand of anyone who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.” ― Leonard Cohen

27. “It’s time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.” ― Leonard Cohen 

28. “Ah, grief makes us precise!” ― Leonard Cohen

29. “Every soul is like a minnow. Every mind is like a shark.” ― Leonard Cohen

30. “I found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win. You abandon your masterpiece and sink into the real masterpiece.” ― Leonard Cohen

31. “I was always working steady, but I never called it art.” ― Leonard Cohen

32. “There is a blaze of light in every word, it doesn’t matter which you heard.” ― Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen quotes about appearance and image

33. “As our eyes grow accustomed to sight, they armor themselves against wonder.” ― Leonard Cohen

34. “We are ugly, but we have the music.” ― Leonard Cohen

35. “I’m old and the mirrors don’t lie.” ― Leonard Cohen

36. “We’ve got to learn to love appearances.” ― Leonard Cohen

37. “Blessed be the covenant of love between what is hidden and what is revealed.” ― Leonard Cohen

38. “Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows.” ― Leonard Cohen

39. “She was made of flesh and eyelashes.” ― Leonard Cohen

40. “In our rags of light, all dressed to kill.” ― Leonard Cohen

41. “I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That’s what sitting on your ass does to your face.” ― Leonard Cohen

42. “Forget the perfect offering. Everything is flawed.” ― Leonard Cohen

Funny Leonard Cohen quotes

43. “The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.” ― Leonard Cohen

44. “Do not be a magician – be magic!” ― Leonard Cohen

45. “Never make a decision when you need to pee.” ― Leonard Cohen

46. “My interest in this pack of failures betrays my character.” ― Leonard Cohen

47. “I don’t ask for information that I probably wouldn’t be able to process even if it were granted to me.” ― Leonard Cohen

48. “Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore.” ― Leonard Cohen

49. “It is easy to display a wound, the proud scars of combat. It is hard to show a pimple.” ― Leonard Cohen

50. “Nobody goes into a Zen monastery as a tourist.” ― Leonard Cohen

More Leonard Cohen quotes and sayings

51. “Don’t call yourself a secret unless you mean to keep it.” – Leonard Cohen

52. “When you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you’ve sinned.” – Leonard Cohen

53. “If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.” – Leonard Cohen

54. “One million candles burning for the help that never came.” – Leonard Cohen

55. “Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute. Let generals secretly despair of triumph; killing will be defamed. Let priests secretly despair of faith: their compassion will be true.” – Leonard Cohen

56. “A teacher I once had told me that the older you get, the lonelier you become and the deeper the love you need. Loneliness creates an appetite for deeper love, and the entire predicament deepens. And as a result of suffering, your capacity to love deeply increases.”- Leonard Cohen

57. “Don’t write about ideas … write about convictions of the heart.” – Leonard Cohen

58. “The truth of the line overwhelms all other considerations.” – Leonard Cohen

59. “Stunned and still not suffering. Swollen with care and anxiety and still not suffering. Useless, old and full of grief, but still not suffering.” – Leonard Cohen

60. “The Maestro says it’s Mozart but it sounds like bubble gum when you’re waiting for the miracle to come.” – Leonard Cohen

What did you learn from these Leonard Cohen quotes?

Leonard Cohen was yet another talented Canadian artist. Cohen didn’t write ‘Hallelujah’ until the 80s, but he had been writing and publishing novels and poetry since the 50s.

In fact, his first poems were published in a magazine in 1954. Two of his later books of poetry didn’t sell many copies, so Cohen turned his attention to songwriting. 

His style of songs is best described as Folklore and Soft Rock. He believed his best work was his song ‘Suzanne,’ which he wrote about his relationship with dancer Suzanne Verdal. The song is an emotional and sensual journey.

Cohen had a career based on so many lovely words, and if you have a moment, you should go check out some of his music.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Leonard Cohen quotes and lines? What’s your favorite song or poem by Leonard Cohen? Let us know in the comments section below!

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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