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Book Title: Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs|
The author of the book: Leonard Cohen
Edition: McClelland & Stewart (Toronto)
Date of issue: August 13th 1994
ISBN 13: 9780771022326
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 943 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.7
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The publication of Stranger Music: Selected Poems & 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 & ironic humour. Many of his poems are spare & declamatory, relying on the intensity of their imagery & 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 emptier/ 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!" Cohen is such an old-fashioned bard that it's 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, tho, & even his best songs, such as the unforgettable "Suzanne" or the sublimely spare "Anthem," lose most of their intensity on paper. Stranger Music contains material from nearly all of his important works; even his experimental novel Beautiful Losers is represented. Cohen has published very little new material since 1983's Book of Mercy, &, unless he enters another period of productivity, Stranger Music will remain the definitive Cohen collection for a very long time.--Jack Illingworth
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Read information about the authorLeonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963.
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 influences broadened to encompass pop, cabaret, and world music. Since the 1980s he has typically sung in lower registers (bass baritone, sometimes bass), with accompaniment from electronic synthesizers and female backing singers.
His work often explores the themes of religion, isolation, sexuality, and complex interpersonal relationships.
Cohen's songs and poetry have influenced many other singer-songwriters, and more than a thousand renditions of his work have been recorded. He has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008 for his status among the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters".
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