Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs Paperback – Aug 13 1994
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The publication of Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs brought Leonard Cohen's poetry, which had long been obscured by his intermittently prolific recording career, back into prominence. His poems will be instantly familiar to fans of his music or novels; they share the same cynical romanticism, morbid eroticism, and ironic humour. Many of his poems are spare and declamatory, relying on the intensity of their imagery and the wryness of their speaker to produce their effect. The opening lines of "The Drawer's Condition on November 28, 1961" are exemplary:
Is there anything emptierCohen is such an old-fashioned bard that it is often difficult to believe he inhabits the same literary landscape that nurtures postmodern experimentalism. Most of his poems are richly lyrical, which made his turn to songwriting a natural one. Published collections of lyrics are seldom very satisfying, though, and even Cohen's best songs, such as the unforgettable "Suzanne" or the spare and sublime "Anthem," lose most of their intensity on paper. Stranger Music contains material from nearly all of Cohen's important works; even his experimental novel Beautiful Losers is represented. Cohen has published very little new material since 1983's Book of Mercy, and, unless he enters another period of productivity, Stranger Music will remain the definitive Cohen collection for a very long time. --Jack Illingworth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
than the drawer where
you used to store your opium?
How like a black-eyed Susan
blinded into ordinary daisy
is my pretty kitchen drawer!
How like a nose sans nostrils
is my bare wooden drawer!
How like an eggless basket!
How like a pool sans tortoise!
“Stranger Music brings together, at last, the words of a Canadian artist who has been anything but a stranger to so many of us for so long.…Cohen has woven a chain of words that binds us together.”
“Stranger Music is a massive record of the poet’s imaginative journey through beauty, through horror, through the extremes of love and despair.…Cohen is always a poet of extremes: that’s where he lives, at the edges of them.”
“Stranger Music is a record of Cohen’s dispatches from the front, an invaluable record of a shining voice. It burns still.”
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
And for all of these moods, there is Leonard Cohen.
To many, Leonard Cohen is known only as a sub-mainstream musician and sometime theologian; yet the scope of his artistic genius reaches far beyond music and religious thought. Stranger Music, a collection of his works from 1956-1993, provides the uninitiated Cohen reader with a broad sampling of poetry and prose excerpts, offering everything from lucid and uplifting spirituality (a la Book of Mercy) to darker confessional stylings. Any fan of modern literature would be well advised to incorporate this anthology into his collection. At times conventional, at times avant-garde, Cohen is a writer that transcends genre and accurate definition, and in doing so probes the collective unconscious for themes which pertain to all of modern humanity. His questions, and many of his answers, all presented in his easily accessible style, are universally applicaple, and an experience well worth the reading. For any passionate-literate individual who seeks an artistic alternative to the nihilism of our time, this man speaks for you.
Spend the twelve bucks. You'll congradulate yourself on the investment.
The friendship with my friend has since ended; however, this book has now become one of my most favourite and prized possessions. It's the perfect starting place for anyone who is curious about Leonard Cohen's work or is looking for poetry that is beautiful (and accessible), It is truly a wonderful anthology.
My copy is dog-eared and coffee stained after years of returning to it again and again. Covering everything he's ever written in as lush a way as a volume this tightly edited will allow, everyone will find something to fall in love with in this book.
Highly recommended and I'd say that even if I wasn't crazy in love with him. ;)
Most recent customer reviews
The best of Leonard Cohen selected from his vast volume of work - an excellent sampler for the uninitiated. Brought back many memories of the Susannes of yesteryear.Published 21 months ago by Roy Allan
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