Inspired by Poet, Writer, Musician & Songwriter Leonard Cohen
“Considered one of the most influential authors of our time, his poems and songs have beautifully explored the major issues of humanity in great depth.”
Leonard Cohen, a Canadian, was born on September 21st, 1934. As a teen, he learned to play guitar and formed a country folk group. He attended McGill University to study law which he never completed. He started a journey as a poet /writer; his first publication, in 1956, was a book of poetry entitled Let Us Compare Mythologies. The Spice-Box of Earth (1961)
brought Cohen public acclaim as a poet.
His first novel published in 1963 was Favourite Game; Beautiful Losers
followed in 1966.
Yeats, Miller, Irving, Leighton influenced Cohen’s as a writer.
He often wrote about religion, sex, relationships, isolation. For a number of years, Leonard went into a secluded life in a Zen Buddist monastery. Leonard had “a persona often associated with mystique.”.
By the late 60s, Cohen was publishing fewer books and started focusing on writing music and recording. In 1967, he moved to the US to pursue folk music. He wrote his first published song Suzanne for Judy Collins in 1967; the same year he recorded his first album. Songs from that album were picked up by popular musicians like James Taylor and David Crosby. Cohen published his best known book of poetry and prose in 1978 -Death of a Ladies Man.The record, of the same title, was co-written and produced with Phil Spector (Songwriter/ record producer Spector was responsible for over 25 Top 40 hits in his career. Spector wrote lyrics and produced for many famous artists like Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, Beatles, Rolling Stones.) Leonard Cohen, at 77, is still writing and producing music. A full collection is expected out in October.
Awards: In 2008, Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In June, he was bestowed with the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters considered one of the highest honor for a writer.
Recurrent themes in Cohen’s early writings revolved around depression and suicide; later in his career he has written about political and social injustice. Cohen shows, in a profound way, that one’s writing can have a tremendous impact on our world and humanity.
When this American woman
( from “Let Us Compare Mythologies”)
When this American woman,
whose thighs are bound in casual red cloth,
comes thundering past my sitting place
like a forest-burning Mongol tribe,
the city is ravished and brittle buildings
of a hundred years splash into the street;
and my eyes are burnt
for the embroidered Chinese girls,
already old, and so small
between the thin pines
on these enormous landscapes,
that if you turn your head
they are lost for hours.
Thanks to Leonard Cohen for years of inspiration – Happy Birthday