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Beneath My Hands by Leonard Cohen

I used to read this all the time. I have written it in journals, recited it to myself in the dark. I said, someday if a man reads this to me, if a man knows this poem and gives it to me—I will love him with all my heart. Because it is one of the most beautiful poems ever written. Because a man who can recognize this, who can know the meaning of this, is a man that should be loved.

Beneath My Hands
Leonard Cohen

Beneath my hands
your small breasts
are the upturned bellies
of breathing fallen sparrows.

Wherever you move
I hear the sounds of closing wings
of falling wings.

I am speechless
because you have fallen beside me
because your eyelashes
are the spines of tiny fragile animals.

I dread the time
when your mouth
begins to call me hunter.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want to summon
the eyes and hidden mouths
of stone and light and water
to testify against you.

I want them
to surrender before you
the trembling rhyme of your face
from their deep caskets.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want my body and my hands
to be pools
for your looking and laughing.

From Selected Poems, 1956-1968 by Leonard Cohen, published by Bantam Books, 1971. ()

Comments (3)

  • Reblogged this on chronicles from the mad city and commented:
    it has to be said. sigh.

  • I posted your page to my Facebook page on 10 November 2016. Dear Leonard dead at 82. I started reading him about 50 years ago, bought his first record, and saw him at the Isla of Wight festival in 1970.

  • Steve Milton

    Found this post on day Leonard Cohen died. Has been my favourite since I read Beautiful Losers at least 50 years ago.


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