The Flame collects unpublished poetry, as well as notebook entries and song lyrics, and offers ‘an intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist’
A book of Leonard Cohen’s final poems, completed in the months before his death and tackling “the flame and how our culture threatened its extinction”, according to his manager, will be published next year.
Describing the collection, The Flame, as “an enormously powerful final chapter in Cohen’s storied literary career”, publisher Canongate said that the Canadian singer-songwriter had chosen and ordered the poems in the months before his death in November 2016. The overwhelming majority of the book, which will be published next October, will be new material, it added.
Cohen, who died at the age of 82, originally focused his career on poetry, publishing the collections Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1956, The Spice-Box of Earth in 1961, and Flowers for Hitler in 1964. By the late 60s, he was concentrating more on music, releasing his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, in 1967.
Cohen’s manager and trustee of his estate Robert Kory said that pulling The Flame together had been a key ambition for the singer-songwriter at the end of his life. “During the final months of his life, Leonard had a singular focus – completing this book, taken largely from his unpublished poems and selections from his notebooks. The flame and how our culture threatened its extinction was a central concern,” said Kory.
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A selection of Leonard Cohen’s lyrics will be included in our reading and discussion of “The Poetry in Popular Music” on October 26. Please bring your own favourite examples of this, or on our expanded topic of poetry that has inspired music, or vice-versa, and post them first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly.
See the SCHEDULE PAGE for submissions to-date.