"A Thousand Kisses Deep"
for Sandy

Sandy was an artist and a poet. View her paintings in The Leonard Cohen Files.

"Love Itself"
for L.W.

Read the first chapter from Leon Wieseltier's book Kaddish and reviews by Harold Bloom in The New York Times and Robert Fulford from Toronto's Globe and Mail.

"Alexandra Leaving"
based on The God Abandons Antony,
a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy

Leonard has indicated that the song "Alexandra Leaving" was inspired by Constantine P. Cavafy's poem "The God Abandons Antony." It was an unfortunate oversight that this credit was left out of the liner notes of Ten New Songs. About Cavafy and his poem, Leonard wrote to Patrice Clos of the French Leonard Cohen site:

"The work of Cavafy has touched and influenced me for many years. Even as I write this, there is a picture of him above my desk."

Here is Cavafy's poem:

The God Abandons Antony

When suddenly, at the midnight hour,
an invisible troupe is heard passing
with exquisite music, with shouts --
your fortune that fails you now, your works
that have failed, the plans of your life
that have all turned out to be illusions, do not mourn in vain.
As if long prepared, as if courageous,
bid her farewell, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all do not be fooled, do not tell yourself
it was a dream, that your ears deceived you;
do not stoop to such vain hopes.
As if long prepared, as if courageous,
as it becomes you who have been worthy of such a city,
approach the window with firm step,
and with emotion, but not
with the entreaties and complaints of the coward,
as a last enjoyment listen to the sounds,
the exquisite instruments of the mystical troupe,
and bid her farewell, the Alexandria you are losing.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)