Cohen first made his name as a poet more than half a century ago and since then his achievements in poetry and music have made him an internationally revered figure. These fifteen poems, including “Death ...more
scratch winds that blow
listen to the stories
but what you know you know
And knowing is enough
for mountains such as these
where nothing long remains
houses walls or trees
In the recent episode of This is Us, Nicky and Jack during their younger days bonded over Leonard Cohen's songs.
"Cohen is not a songwriter, he is a poet.
His songs-- poems."
This is my first book of Leonard Cohen. Haven't listened to much of his songs. Only have heard of his love story from the letter he wrote --
Fifteen Poems tracks Leonard Cohen's work throughout his career, from Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1956 to Stranger Music, published 1993. His earlier work is represented far more widely than his later, but the poem choices are good; they show the growth of his writing while also being enjoyable poems in their own right. However, this is not a "best of" collection. Despite the subjective nature of poetry I can guarantee few would call this Cohen's finest. My personal favorite in the collection...more
Great stuff. A simple and swift introduction to Cohen's poetry. ...more
Everything that has been said about him is true. At times a minor poet. At times a master. "You Have the Lovers" is probably his best work in this collection. That is when he reaches unparalleled heights. ...more
While a number of these poems were enjoyable and relatable, I will still dwell deeply and preferably in Leonard Cohen’s musical melodies.
“When you call me close to tell me your body is not beautiful I want to summon the eyes and hidden mouths of stone and light and water to testify against you.”
I don't rate him as a poet on paper though and I think there are better collections than this 'greatest hits' of poems. There are a couple which are excellent. The illustrations for the most part are very good. But if you are to buy a collection of his verse, then maybe something like Energy of Slaves.
Cohen's earliest songs (many of which appeared on the 1968 album Songs of Leonard Cohen) were rooted in European folk music melodies and instrumentation, sung in a high baritone. The 1970s were a musically restless period in which his in ...more
I thought shadows fell deceptively,
urging memories of perfect rhyme.
I thought I could bestow beauty
like a benediction and that your half-dark flesh
would answer to the prayer.
I thought I understood your face
because I had seen it painted twice
or a hundred times, or kissed it
when it was carved in stone.
With only a breath, a vague turning,
you uncovered shadows
more deftly than I had flesh,
and the real and violent proportions of your body
made obsolete old treaties of excellence,
measures and poems,
and clamoured with a single challenge of personal beauty,
which cannot be interpreted or praised:
it must be met.”