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

on October 11, 2018, 9:05am

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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