Leonard Cohen, “I Have Not Lingered in European Monasteries”

  1. In this poem Cohen lists a variety of things he has not done. What do these things have in common?
  2. Why do you think Cohen says that he has not done these particular things? What do people expect of a poet? Of a philosopher? Of a religious man? Cohen is a poet. Is he a philosopher? Religious?
  3. Notice that the final four lines of the poem are entirely positive in their outlook, contrasting sharply with the negative construction of the rest of the poem. How does Cohen feel about the things he does, in contrast to the things he does not do? Does he feel guilty? Apologetic? Smug? Satisfied?
  4. Suggest a theme for the poem.