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Suzanne Analysis



Author: poem of Leonard Cohen Type: poem Views: 37

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Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river


You can hear the boats go by


You can spend the night beside her


And you know that she's half crazy


But that's why you want to be there


And she feeds you tea and oranges


That come all the way from China


And just when you mean to tell her


That you have no love to give her


Then she gets you on her wavelength


And she lets the river answer


That you've always been her lover


And you want to travel with her


And you want to travel blind


And you know that she will trust you


For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.



And Jesus was a sailor


When he walked upon the water


And he spent a long time watching


From his lonely wooden tower


And when he knew for certain


Only drowning men could see him


He said "All men will be sailors then


Until the sea shall free them"


But he himself was broken


Long before the sky would open


Forsaken, almost human


He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone


And you want to travel with him


And you want to travel blind


And you think maybe you'll trust him


For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.



Now Suzanne takes your hand


And she leads you to the river


She is wearing rags and feathers


From Salvation Army counters


And the sun pours down like honey


On our lady of the harbour


And she shows you where to look


Among the garbage and the flowers


There are heroes in the seaweed


There are children in the morning


They are leaning out for love


And they will lean that way forever


While Suzanne holds the mirror


And you want to travel with her


And you want to travel blind


And you know that you can trust her


For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

Try this on. Suzanne is a seductress. The protagonist knows it, but finds himself drawn to her both physically and emotionally. She is full of pseudo-intellectual, circular arguments about Jesus, dressed in (at that time trendy) Salvation Army clothes. She shows him where to look in the garage to see what she wants him to see. The last two lines are the saddest: and he is sure that she can find him. He believes this because she has touched HER perfect body with HER mind. He thinks she can help him because she knows herself so well, but in fact, ALL she knows is her narcissistic self. Just a thot.

| Posted on 2012-12-07 | by a guest


.: :.

It\'s about teenage love? Suzanne, a romantic and a master of the chaotic, the hidden, the myserious (a la manic pixie dream girl) has shown him his true self (she holds mirror) and his need for love. It changes the way he sees everything. Suddenly, the world is full of desperate, dirty hopefuls in desperate, dirty places-- even those (like our friend Leonard) who feel incapable of giving love are these wandering sailor-idealists \"leaning out for love\" trying to find answers. She is like a god to him.

| Posted on 2012-01-31 | by a guest


.: :.

Suzanne was supposedly the wife of a friend of Cohen\'s who appears on The Death of a Ladies\' Man album. Can\'t help but think he slept with her. Haunting vivid melodic song. Perhaps his best along with Bird On a Wire.

| Posted on 2011-05-14 | by a guest


.: :.

I like cohens use of the phrase "touched her/your perfect body" and "you know that you will trust her" etc. His repetition hammers the idea of trust and intimacy into the readerís skull.

| Posted on 2009-03-20 | by bibblybob




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