My Life with Leonard Cohen

Friends, but never close, our paths intersected and then diverged, until this past September, when I connected with Leonard for the last time.

Leonard Cohen walking on a street near his vacation home in Hydra, Greece, October 1960. James Burke/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images.

Leonard Cohen walking on a street near his vacation home in Hydra, Greece, October 1960. James Burke/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images.

Observation
Nov. 30 2016
About the author

Ruth R. Wisse is a research professor at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her most recent book is No Joke: Making Jewish Humor (2013, paperback 2015).


When Leonard Cohen died in early November, the flags of Montreal, his native city, were lowered to half-mast. Friends and fans exchanged notes of condolence. Leonard was such a mournful singer that he seemed to have readied his admirers for the loss of him, supplying the words and music for their lament. Many—and his Jewish devotees most of all—continue to grieve for the man who danced them to the end of love.

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More about: Arts & Culture, Leonard Cohen, Music, Poetry