Leonard Cohen Poem Accepted for Anthology

Photo credit: Leonard Cohen. Rama. 27 Oct. 2008. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 2.0 FR.

David L. O’Nan, at Fevers of the Mind, is putting together “A Sequel Anthology to Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen,” and he is soliciting submissions for the volume, which will be called Before I Turn Into Gold. I am researching the third part of my everlasting science fiction novel project and trying not to get caught up in producing new things for calls for submissions, but I happened to have an immediate idea for this one.

Although I am not a big Cohen fan,* at the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C., I did have a moving experience listening to Hallelujah. Unable to get to where the famous speakers were because the crowd was jam-packed, our little group sat on a slightly elevated bit of terraced landscaping, eating our snacks on a sheet of plastic and participating in the chants from the sidelines. A group next to us formed a circle and began to sing the song. Even though I had not been particularly moved by Cohen’s passing, I was moved by the damage being done to our democracy, and something about “Hallelujah,” sung sweetly in subdued tones by a circle of women, seemed uplifting and appropriate to the moment.

So when I saw Editor O’Nan’s call, I pulled up the lyrics and composed a series of three-line stanzas about this incident. Every third line rhymes with the last two syllables of “hallelujah,” just as Cohen’s stanza-endings do, and I also used some phrases and vocabulary from the song throughout. I’m happy to report that O’Nan accepted “Hearing ‘Hallelujah’ at the Women’s March, 2017,” and I look forward to reading Before I Turn to Gold.

*I don’t dislike Cohen; I’m just neutral. Maybe I don’t know his work well enough.

4 thoughts on “Leonard Cohen Poem Accepted for Anthology

  1. Pingback: Fevers of the Mind Interview, and a Review | Word Music

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