[Name of Student] [Name of Instructor] [Course] [Date] Poetry Analysis The poem under analysis is “Famous Blue Raincoat’ written by Leonard Cohen. It appears as a single in the 1971 album Songs of Love and Hate. The song talks of a love triangle between Cohen, Jane and presumably another man…
The title refers to the unnamed person’s raincoat. This becomes an important symbol in the song. The tearing at the shoulder of the raincoat suggests the passage of time, vulnerability, and also the inability perhaps to “shoulder” responsibilities like fidelity. Maurice Ratcliff in The Complete Guide to the Music of Leonard Cohen suggests that since Cohen has admitted that the title refers to a “Burberry” raincoat he owned himself, perhaps the letter is addressed to his own past self (Ratcliff 37). The interpretation of the other being Cohen himself is possible and suggests that writing or singing the letter is a kind of therapeutic act to redeem his own perhaps unjust behavior towards Jane. The form of the poem is roughly in the AABB rhyming scheme with minor variations. For instance, in the stanza following “Well I see Jane’s awake”, the rhyming scheme shifts to ABCB temporarily. There are also devices to indicate the epistolary nature of the poem: “Sincerely, L. Cohen” at the end and the vague mention of the date and time at the beginning, for instance. Most of the song appears to fall in the metrical pattern of amphibrach, although this varies also. The content of this popular song is obscure and open to interpretation. ...
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