Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Archival Leonard Cohen

The musician Leonard Cohen (b. 1934) may need no introduction to any of us who follow his career and purchase his albums; his latest, Old Ideas, was released earlier this year. Not all may realize, however, that Cohen got his start as a poet, publishing his debut collection Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1956. (A 50th anniversary facsimile edition of that volume was published in 2007 by Ecco.) Cohen went on to publish 11 other books

In this 92 Street Y podcast recorded before a live audience in February 1966, you get a double feature: the poet who reads and the poet who sings. The poems Cohen reads are "For E.J.P." and "You Have the Lovers"; his performance is of "The Stranger Song".


Cohen also dabbles in art.

Leonard Cohen on FaceBook and MySpace

(My thanks to 92 Street Y and Poetry Foundation, where I first listened to the archival recording.)

7 comments:

Kathleen said...

Love him!

S. Etole said...

Such expression of gifts ...

Julie Ali said...

I like his poems in song better than his poems but he is entirely adorable.

Deborah said...

I know just the person who would love a book of his poems! Saw him perform in London in late 1979...not that I'm over 25 or anything...

Steve Gravano said...

Leonard Cohen is sometimes forgotten in the realm of music and poetry. He was definitely someone who molded many who came after him.

nance marie said...

i wonder if his mom called him lenny.
it would be fun to hear the tunes of the buckskin boys.

Jody Collins @ Threewaylight said...

Maureen--I found your post/place via Glynn Young's Saturday Reads. Leonard Cohen is one of my favorite poet songwriters, primarily because I love Judy Collins' music and she sings some of his haunting melodies.
My favorite Cohen lines, "Oh ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

I saw this CD at Starbuck's the other day--sounds like a keeper.