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While it is true that Cohen is anthologised in poetry collections, some of his song lyrics do not submit gracefully to poetic analysis, and this is one of those. The repititions of lines, the skeletal story line, and the lack of structure all move the lyrics away from the rhythms of his more successful lyric/poetry combinations (examples ready to hand are Suzanne and Famous Blue Raincoat). Basically, the "secret life" signifies those thoughts and opinions he keeps to himself and doesn't voice. Even Cohen would admit that this song did not succeed as poetry.
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