Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
Cohen allows the individual listener some interpretive freeplay. His lyrics, rather than dictating what they mean allow the listener to to look to themselves for what the song 'means'-however idiosyncratic the interpretation. We should extend this wisdom to the way in which we write and read poetry. What the poet 'means', or intends, should not be of primary concern to our enjoyment of the work. Surface meaning, if present at all, can be a disadvantage, as it spells itself out so well that we don't want to look any further. It ties us down to a limited surface meaning and hinders our imaginative and creative powers as a reader. In such an instance the poem becomes didactic: it does not allow our mind to become part of the creative process that all enjoyment of art requires.
...what I remember, more even than the mellifluous and elegant presence (the most articulate writer I've ever met), was his stillness: beneath the words, deeper than that figure in black walking around a pine tree in near-snow after midnight, was someone else, lost in meditation.