Leonard Cohen: “I Am Ready to Die”

Leonard Cohen: “I Am Ready to Die”
Cohen reflects on his declining health and unfinished works in New Yorker profile.

By Evan Minsker.

Leonard Cohen, whose new album You Want It Darkeris out October 21, is the subject of a new profile in The New Yorker. In the piece, Cohen discusses his new album, his life’s story, and most pervasively, his declining health. After author David Remnick notes that touring anytime in the future is unlikely, Cohen discussed his unfinished poems and songs.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to finish those songs. Maybe, who knows? And maybe I’ll get a second wind, I don’t know. But I don’t dare attach myself to a spiritual strategy. I don’t dare do that. I’ve got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.”

After Marianne Ihlen, the inspiration behind some of Cohen’s songs (most notably, “Bird on the Wire” and “So Long, Marianne”), died earlier this year, it was revealed that Cohen sent her a letter two days before she passed. “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,” he wrote. “Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.”

Read the entire feature.

This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.

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