Saturday, April 17, 2010

Leonard Cohen

Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen (2006).  Cohen is a Montreal native who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.  As anyone who has listened to his albums can tell you, he has built his reputation on his songwriting skills, rather than his vocal abilities.  In fact, Cohen began his career as a poet, publishing his first collection - Let Us Compare Mythologies - in 1956, while he was an undergraduate at McGill University.  By the time he moved to New York in 1967 to pursue music, he had already established himself as a gifted poet in Canada.
Book of Longing is his most recent book of poetry, and it is the only poetry book to make it to the top of the bestseller list in Canada (as compiled by Maclean's magazine).  The pieces in this collection cover a lot of territory, and they are interspersed with Cohen's own line drawings and quick sketches.  Lyrics, free verse, epigrams, short poems and communications to the reader fill the pages.

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