That’s how the light gets in

~Leonard Cohen

The birds they sang at the break of day;
‘Start again,’ I heard them say,
Don’t dwell on what has passed away,
or what is yet to be.

Ah the wars they will be fought again,
the holy dove, she will be caught again,
bought and sold and bought again,
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack in everything —
That’s how the light gets in.

We asked for signs, the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed, the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood of every government —
signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd,
while the killers in high places say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
a thundercloud;
and they’re going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring …

You can add up the parts, but you won’t have the sum,
You can strike up the march, there is no drum,
Every heart, every heart to love will come,
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything —
That’s how the light gets in.


“…You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the window.
Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied of expectation.
Relax. Don’t bother remembering any of it. Let’s stop here,
under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.”

Excerpt From: Laux, Dorianne. “The Book of Men.” WW Norton, 2011. iBooks.