Leonard Cohen // "Take the word butterfly. To use this word it is not necessary to make the voice weigh less than an ounce or equip it with small dusty wings. It is not necessary to invent a sunny day or a field of daffodils. It is not necessary to be in love, or to be in love with butterflies. The word butterfly is not a real butterfly… Do not make so much of the word. Are you trying to suggest that you love butterflies more perfectly than anyone else, or really understand their nature? The word butterfly is merely data… Do not act out words. Never act out words. Never try to leave the floor when you talk about flying. Never close your eyes and jerk your head to one side when you talk about death… What is the expression which the age demands? The age demands no expression whatever… There is nothing you can show on your face that can match the horror of this time. Do not even try. You will only hold yourself up to the scorn of those who have felt things deeply… Everyone knows you are eating well and are even being paid to stand up there… This should make you very quiet. Speak the words, convey the data, step aside… You have nothing to teach them. You are not more beautiful than they are. You are not wiser… You are among the people. Then be modest… You are students of discipline. Do not act out the words. The words die when you act them out, they wither, and we are left with nothing but your ambition. Speak the words with the exact precision with which you would check out a laundry list. Do not become emotional about the lace blouse… The socks are not there to remind you of strange and distant voyages. It is just your laundry. It is just your clothes… Just wear them… Think of the words as science, not as art. They are a report... Do not work the audience for gasps and sighs. If you are worthy of gasps and sighs it will not be from your appreciation of the event but from theirs. It will be in the statistics and not the trembling of the voice or the cutting of the air with your hands. It will be in the data and the quiet organization of your presence. Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak."