30 de octubre de 2011

I've never felt apart from the woman

[A partir del minuto 9:53.]

Pregunta: What do you think you say to women —it might be an unfair question— in your lyrics?

Leonard: I think I've been saying the same thing from the very beginning. We're all in the same boat, we've entered into this quarrel, into this cage, union, and extremely ambiguous circumstance together and we're going to sort it out together. That is why I never thought of myself as a romantic poet because I always was very clear from the beginning that this confrontation involves some serious risks to the versions of oneself.

Pregunta: You mean the confrontation between men and women?

Leonard: Yeah. And it's always been confrontational. Not in an aggressive sense but in an acknowledging sense that there are some profound differences and it involves serious risks and that these risks are really best acknowledged. And I think that's the tone of most of the stuff and if the love and passion can transgress that mutual acknowledgement then you do have something that takes off, either it's a song or a poem or the moment. But without that, you've got the moon-in-June school of writing--though my stuff gets close to the moon-in-June school of writing, but I think it's that acknowledgement of the risk that rescues it every time.

Pregunta: There's a song called "Light As The Breeze" in which the woman gives the man in the song a warning where she says, "Drink deeply, pilgrim"...

Leonard: "but don't forget there's still a woman beneath this resplendent chemise."

Pregunta: It seems to me that in your earlier lyrics and poems, the women often were too saintly or they were angels of mercy or compassion. To come right out with that kind of almost feminist warning. It seemed like a new voice.

Leonard: [Contemplating and then beginning slowly] Perhaps I'm suffering from convenient amnesia as to lines from previous songs... I know that in this one I say, "You can drink it or you can nurse it, it doesn't matter how you worship, as long as you're down on your knees." I think that's been my position more or less over the years, and creakily standing up and regretting it and getting down again.

Pregunta: Is it the man who should be down on his knees?

Leonard: Maybe this is some kind of alibi I'm about to spin, but I've never felt that distant from the woman's position. I think if you've experienced yourself as neither man nor woman —I think that anyone who sings about these matters has to have that experience and I think everyone has had the experience... in an embrace you're neither man nor woman, you forget who you are. Once you have experienced yourself as neither man nor woman, when you are reborn again into the predetermined form which you inhabit, you come back with the residue of experience or the residue of wisdom which enables you to recognize in the other extremely familiar traits. And I'm not trying to establish an alibi or present this argument in the face of the feminist position, but I've never felt apart from the woman. I've never felt anything strange or unfamiliar in the woman's position.

(El vídeo lo descubrí gracias a Open Culture; la transcripción la encontré aquí.)

Previously, on Desvaríos varios:

There is a war between the man and the woman (3 de julio de 2009)

There is a war between Cohen and Sabina (26 de julio de 2009)

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