Alexandra Leaving.

If you do a google search for Leonard Cohen’s ‘Alexandra Leaving’ a whole bunch of youtube clips of this piece of writing appears, but of course, as a song.

I’ve always thought of ‘Alexandra Leaving’ as a poem.

I read it to my father last time I went to visit him. As egotistical as it may sound I have always loved the serious of shapes my mouth, anyones mouth, makes when saying the name ‘Alexandra.’

Admittedly also there is some sort of comfort found in imagining that Leonard was writing this about me. Which is false. Obviously.

This poem, to my knowledge is about the relationship he had with the woman whom he was living with on Hydra in the 70s and then of course the ultimate demise of the relationship. This poem reminds how to start again.

I find this piece really comforting.

I often read it to myself when I can’t sleep.

Or can’t let go.

I found this online today too, which I thought was really special:

“…. Actually if you read further into the lyrics you will find out it is far more powerful than just a one night stand.

i personally believe this song is about two lovers which have been separated due to the main character being imprisoned for something and alexandra his lover who comes to visit him on his last night.”They slip between the sentries of the heart” suggests that they are being guarded yet alexandra manages to get in.. they spend the night with each other… and the next morning the main character is trying to contemplate whether tha evening actually did take place.

Matt, 15.

(Yes I know I may be only 15 but perhaps you should try reading between the lines.)

– songmeanings.net

————–

Alexandra Leaving.

after ‘The God Abandons Anthony.’ By C. Cavafy.

Suddenly the night has grown colder.
The god of love preparing to depart.
Alexandra hoisted on his shoulder,
They slip between the sentries of the heart.

Upheld by the simplicities of pleasure,
They gain the light, they formlessly entwine;
And radiant beyond your widest measure
They fall among the voices and the wine.

It’s not a trick, your senses all deceiving,
A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
Do not say the moment was imagined;
Do not stoop to strategies like this.

As someone long prepared for this to happen,
Go firmly to the window. Drink it in.
Exquisite music. Alexandra laughing.
Your firm commitments tangible again.

And you who had the honor of her evening,
And by the honor had your own restored –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving;
Alexandra leaving with her lord.

Even though she sleeps upon your satin;
Even though she wakes you with a kiss.
Do not say the moment was imagined;
Do not stoop to strategies like this.

As someone long prepared for the occasion;
In full command of every plan you wrecked –
Do not choose a coward’s explanation
that hides behind the cause and the effect.

And you who were bewildered by a meaning;
Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

– Hydra, Greece. September 1999.

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Comments
One Response to “Alexandra Leaving.”
  1. NB:

    Constantine Cavafy’s Poem:
    ‘The God Abandons Antony’

    (http://users.hol.gr/~barbanis/cavafy/antony.html).

    That is the same Antony from ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘Antony and Cleopatra’.

    The original poem itself is believed to be based on Plutarch’s account of the evening that Antony heard a ghostly, musical procession the night before he lost the siege of Alexandria to Octavian.

    The procession – among other things– signifies the desertion of his Godly protector, Bacchus.

    Have a read and let me know what you think.

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