Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen. Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring.

I wrote this a year ago.  When I saw his name trending on this day last year, I was afraid that he had passed. He hadn’t.

Later in the year, he did.

Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen. Ringing all the bells.

Source: Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen. Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring.

Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen. Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring.

Leonard Cohen is trending on Facebook.  I hovered over his name in my newsfeed to find that today is his birthday.

Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen.

A few days ago, a friend sent me this:

I had been reading the Louise Penny trilogy
(A Trick of the Light, The Beautiful Mystery [monks term for plain chant]
and How the Light Gets In.)
Her inspiration was Mr. Cohen.
She prefaces the one book with the following acknowledgement:
“Finally, I’d like to thank Leonard Cohen. The book is named after an excerpt from his poem/song—“Anthem.”

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There’s a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.

I first used that stanza in my second book. When I contacted him to ask permission and find out what I’d have to pay for it, he got back through his agent to say he would give it to me for free.


I’d paid handsomely for other poetry excerpts, and rightly so. I’d expected to pay for this, especially

given that at the time, six years ago, Mr. Cohen had just had most of his savings stolen by a trusted
member of his team.

Instead of asking for thousands—he asked for nothing.

I cannot begin to imagine the light that floods into that man.

And now you’re holding my imperfect offering.

It was written with great love and gratitude and awareness of how very lucky I am.”

Leonard Cohen is 82 today.  I hope you’ve been blessed by his mind and his words like so many others have.