Paraphrase of two Leonard Cohen Poems: Suzanne and The Partisan

Essay by cybroxHigh School, 12th gradeA, December 2003

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Leonard Cohen once again showed his lyrical prowess and ability to effectively communicate human feelings and emotions with the song "Suzanne" which was released on his first album.

The song explains the relationship between "you" (the reader) and Jesus. It does this by telling the story of a figurative relationship between "you" (the reader) and a girl named Suzanne. The name of the girl isn't that important in itself, "Suzanne" merely represents Jesus. It also tells about your relationship with Jesus directly, without figurative characters.

The song starts off with Suzanne taking you to her "place by the river" in the first section. Here you can sit and listen to boats, and spend time with her. You know that she is different from anyone else you've met ("And you know that she's half crazy"), but that is why you like her.

As you lay there, you eat oranges and drink tea, and enjoy life.

However, at this point you don't really love her- in fact, you are incapable of loving ("you have no love to give her") and you are about to tell her this, when suddenly you realize her way of thinking ("she gets you on her wavelength"). Even though she is silent and doesn't say a word ("she lets the river answer"), you realize you've always loved her, and that you want to be with her wherever she goes, without worrying about yourself, because you trust her.

The second section of the poem starts directly talking about your relationship with Jesus, in a similar style to the first section.

It starts off by saying how Jesus was more than just human, that he was Son of God ("Jesus was a sailor, when he walked upon the...