Leonard Cohen says he is prepared for his final days.
In a lengthy and candid interview published in this week’s New Yorker, the 82-year-old troubadour and poet reflects on his mortality, his spirituality, and his long career — including his upcoming 14th album, You Want It Darker — and tells the magazine he is “ready to die.”
Although he continues to work on new music and poetry, Cohen says some of the material may never be completed.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to finish those songs,” he tells New Yorker editor David Remnick. “Maybe, who knows? And maybe I’ll get a second wind, I don’t know. But I don’t dare attach myself to a spiritual strategy. I don’t dare do that. I’ve got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.”
After touring continuously between 2008 and 2013, Cohen is unlikely to ever hit the road again. According to friends and musical associates, his onstage appearances will probably be limited to single performances or short residencies.
Despite the somber subject matter, Cohen seems to have made his peace and isn’t inclined to draw many grand conclusions as his life draws to a close.
“As I approach the end of my life, I have even less and less interest in examining what have got to be very superficial evaluations or opinions about the significance of one’s life or one’s work,” Cohen says. “I was never given to it when I was healthy, and I am less given to it now.”
Read Cohen’s full profile at the New Yorker. You Want It Darker will be released Oct. 21.