Leonard Cohen, Canadian singer and writer of Engli
P. Ullman—Roger Viollet/Getty Images Leonard Cohen, the Canadian singer and writer, in concert. France, 1970.

Laura Marling is an English folk singer-songwriter and musician.

“In a week that was such a deep blow to women we lost yet another male figure who represented art in a far-out enough way without alienating the masses”

Though the passings of both Prince and David Bowie did not go by me without a significant twinge of loss, it is the death of Leonard Cohen that has brought me out into full blooming grief.

I never had the opportunity to meet the man myself. I’m not bereft because he passed before I, personally, could be in the presence of his auric poetic lineage. Nor is it that I feel robbed of his loss; 82 is a very noble age to die. It may have had something to do with his death’s proximity to such an historic event as the U.S. election and my own personal sallow reflections on our time, entwined together.

He was a poet of extraordinary elegance and class. One of the rare realist-romantics, a genre from which I have drawn a (so far) short life and career’s worth of inspiration. His lyrical world is so vivid, melancholy, solitary but not, crucially, isolated. Modern story telling, grown up romantic turmoil. In my mind he was always in his late thirties, always wearing a suit, always looking on gently to the world wondering how to move through it, always pondering his last love affair, always making space in his heart for the next.