A Donegal writer and painter who has kept an autograph of Leonard Cohen as one of her most prized possessions for over 40 years has said the death of the singer means ‘something beautiful has gone’.
Celine McGlynn was 18 when she met the singer after a concert in Dublin the the mid 1970s. She queued to meet the Canadian singer after the show, and the autograph bearing the words ‘For Celine. All Good Things,” has always had a prominent place in her home.
The Canadian poet, songwriter and artist was regarded as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation. His death aged 82 was announced in the early hours of Friday.
Celine said the autograph is the only one she has ever collected.
“I always keep it where I can see it, I keep it pinned on a board in the house. I thought it was a really nice thing to say, like a blessing of sorts.”
Celine said Cohen’s music was like a soundtrack to her youth.
“I have always loved singers and singer-songwriters and he wrote amazing songs and was a wonderful poet as well. I have his poetry books and I loved especially the ‘Energy of Slaves’. I bought all his albums and I was always teased about how depressing he was. But I always found him very funny and full of humour. I have always seen him as unsurpassed, just some of the things he has written.”
Recalling the night she met her hero she said she remembered being at the end of a very long queue to get an autograph.
“He asked me my name and where I was from and wrote the lovely thing. It was not something I would normally do, it is the only autograph I have.”
She saw Cohen for the second time nearly 40 years later in Dublin in 2013.
“There was an awesome respect and dignity for the audience,” she said.
“It was the writing, I just loved the writing. It was like social commentary and he wrote very powerfully about the whole human condition and about love and life. I just think the world is a better place for him having lived.”