Hallelujah! Why We Need Poets. Thanks Leonard Cohen. 

We need our poets.

Whether composed with rhyme or meter, or to music, or if it is just on paper in free verse for someone to interpret through cadence, we need their words.

We need words put together to frame an emotion, an event, a doubt, a success, a life event, or something that never happened. And there are always those voices that say the very feelings or lack of feelings that we experience in such a way that rereading those words allows for the experience to be fully relived or abhorred.

It is very possible that someone else’s words gives you voice.

I’ll go further. The words of a true poet live well beyond the day in which the verses were written. Those poems are timeless. We read them over and over again and their relevance grows. Even when the poet physically leaves this earth those poems still breathe and give us breath.

Maybe one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed upon us is that there are people in our lives who can say things better than we could ever imagine and we should be grateful for that. Someone took a snapshot of our mental, emotional, psychological, and physical state simultaneously and sent us the picture.

It gives us more time to experience and reflect. It reminds us that we are human.

Leonard Cohen passed away last week. And in a week that many saw as the upheaval of the American political system, it was his musical poem that opened up a satirical comedy sketch show that totally slowed the pulse of many people’s bleeding hearts and gave comfort and perspective.

Kate McKinnon, the lead female player for Saturday Night Live, came out in the “cold open” and dressed in her now-famous Hillary Clinton costume sang Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to a silent audience.

And it was (plug in your own poetic words).

You can view it here.


“Hallelujah” has been covered probably dozens if not hundreds of times. Jeff Buckley’s version is on my iPhone and he added some lyrics to the original version.

I also think that part of the strength of this song is that you can just read the lyrics and sense the power.

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord

That David played, and it pleased the Lord

But you don’t really care for music, do you?

It goes like this

The fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift

The baffled king composing Hallelujah




Your faith was strong but you needed proof

You saw her bathing on the roof

Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you

She tied you to a kitchen chair

She broke your throne, and she cut your hair

And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain

I don’t even know the name

But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?

There’s a blaze of light

In every word

It doesn’t matter which you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn’t much

I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you

And even though it all went wrong

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah



Read some poetry.