Poetry Project

by Stefan Gonev

"Only One Thing" by Leonard Cohen

Only one thing made him happy

And now that it was gone

Everything made him happy


The author portrays in both the picture and the poem a person who could only be happy through drugs, but once he stops using them, everything in his life clears up. This makes it so everything makes him happy.


The author and musician Leonard Cohen has gone through drug addiction, so this poem serves as a reflection on his bad life choices, and how he improved on them to better his life.


The poem consists of one 3-line stanza. It goes from 6 words, to 5, and to 4, consecutively, holding a simple structure throughout a poem.


"Only One Thing" uses simple language. It can be seen as one sentenced separated by commas. It also uses the repetition of the word happy at the end of both the 1st, and 3rd line.

Musical Devices

Cohen's poem uses an A - B - A rhyme scheme with the repetition of the word happy.