Leonard Cohen wrote a poem called “Kanye West Is Not Picasso”

The poem is included in Cohen's new posthumous collection, The Flame

Leonard Cohen and Kanye West
Leonard Cohen and Kanye West

    Last week brought the release of The Flame, a posthumous collection of poetry and lyrics written by Leonard Cohen in the months prior to his death in November 2016. As singer-songwriter Amanda Shires points out, one such entry is titled, “Kanye West Is Not Picasso”.

    It goes something like this:

    Kanye West is not Picasso
    I am Picasso
    Kanye West is not Edison
    I am Edison
    I am Tesla
    Jay-Z is not the Dylan of Anything
    I am the Dylan of anything
    I am the Kanye West of Kanye West
    The Kanye West
    Of the great bogus shift of bullshit culture
    From one boutique to another
    I am Tesla
    I am his coil
    The coil that made electricity soft as a bed
    I am the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he is
    When he shoves your ass off the stage
    I am the real Kanye West
    I don’t get around much anymore
    I never have
    I only come alive after a war
    And we have not had it yet

    The poem is dated “March 15, 2015” and appears to have been written in response to comments Kanye made at Oxford University earlier that month. And yet three years later, on a day when Kanye West is set to visit Donald Trump’s White House with Kid Rock by his side, Cohen’s sentiment seems even more appropriate.


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