The late Leonard Cohen was renowned for his legendary songwriting, but unbeknownst to many, he was also a prolific poet. Last week, a posthumous book of the artist’s poems, lyrics, and other scribblings, titled The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings published. It was penned by Cohen in the months leading up to his death in November 2016.
Singer/songwriter Amanda Shires, who is a devoted Cohen fan, pointed out via Twitter Thursday that one of the poems in the book is titled “Kanye West Is Not Picasso.”
“Kanye West Is Not Picasso” by Leonard Cohen, from Cohen’s new book ‘The Flame.’ pic.twitter.com/w5lUfkjdYv
— S H I R E S’ $Hit Show (@amandashires) October 11, 2018
The poem reads:
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, dated “March 15, 2015,” is suggested to have been written in response to comments Kanye West made at Oxford University, in which he compares himself to Picasso in a lengthy speech which you can revisit below. Then in 2016, ‘Ye dropped his album The Life of Pablo.
Kanye West has yet to respond to the poem, and the message of the poem seems even more appropriate, three years after it was written.
Later today, Kanye West will join Donald Trump at The White House for the signing of the Music Modernization Act.