Leonard Cohen is one of the best rock poets going. He has received less aclaim than some of the other rock poets like Jim Morrison, Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. That is really a shame because Cohen has produced a pretty extraordinary body of work.
He published his first volume of poetry in 1956. His first album of music came out in 1967. Stranger Music is a selection of poems and lyrics from his entire career. It provides 400 pages of material. One will quickly realize that Cohen has had an amazing career. I especially like the lyrics. "The Future" is a CD that seems to find its way into my player a lot. Even though, the lyrics are on the CD sleeve, it is nice to see them in a book. One will gain an appreciation for how poetic Cohen's lyrics are. (The same is true for Dylan. There is something special about great poetic lyrics getting placed in book form.)
This book also contains generous samplings of his early books like "Beautiful Losers" and "Flowers For Hitler". Cohen manages to straddle the line between emotional intensity and sheer intellectualism. This collection will allow one to examine a great, often time underlooked career. It is some of the best English language poetry of the 20th Century.