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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 |||

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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

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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

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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

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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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