On finding your voice

When I was a young man, an adolescent, and I hungered for a voice, I studied the English poets and I knew their work well, and I copied their styles, but I could not find a voice. It was only when I read, even in translation, the works of Lorca

that I understood that there was a voice. It is not that I copied his voice; I would not dare. But he gave me permission to find a voice, to locate a voice, that is to locate a self, a self that that is not fixed, a self that struggles for its own existence.

As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty.

via Leonard Cohen’s Prince of Asturias Awards Speech.

How I got my song – Leonard Cohen’s Prince Of Asturias Speech

Following his nomination for the Prince of Asturias award.

Poetry comes from a place that no one commands, that no one conquers. So I feel somewhat like a charlatan to accept an award for an activity which I do not command. In other words, if I knew where the good songs came from I would go there more often.

See also:

Leonard Cohen, Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras

¡Enhorabuena, compatriota!

La poesía cantada, esas novelas de seis minutos y pico, la prosa mecida por inconfundibles melodías folk le han valido al músico Leonard Cohen (Montreal, 1934) el Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras. Por sus canciones de marcado carácter literario, sí, pero también por su obra no cantada, libros como Flores para Hitler, Los hermosos vencidos, Comparemos mitologías, o la novela El juego favorito.

via ELPAÍS.com.