Book of Longing
  • Book of Longing
  • Book of Longing

Book of Longing

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by Leonard Cohen
     
 

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Leonard Cohen wrote the poems in Book of Longing—his first book of poetry in more than twenty years—during his five-year stay at a Zen monastery on Southern California's Mount Baldy, and in Los Angeles, Montreal, and Mumbai. This dazzling collection is enhanced by the author's playful and provocative drawings, which interact in exciting,

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Overview

Leonard Cohen wrote the poems in Book of Longing—his first book of poetry in more than twenty years—during his five-year stay at a Zen monastery on Southern California's Mount Baldy, and in Los Angeles, Montreal, and Mumbai. This dazzling collection is enhanced by the author's playful and provocative drawings, which interact in exciting, unexpected ways on the page with poetry that is timeless, meditative, and often darkly humorous. An international sensation, Book of Longing contains all the elements that have brought Cohen's artistry with language worldwide recognition.

Editorial Reviews

LA Weekly
“. . .alive and contradictory. . . you should read the whole volume. . .”
New York Times
“Book of Longing has exceptional range. It is clear yet steamy, cosmic yet private, both playful and profound.”
Publishers Weekly
Renowned singer-songwriter Cohen also boasts a reputation as a writer for the printed page, especially in his native Canada. This capacious collection (his first since 1993's Stranger Music) compiles musings, jottings, quatrains, brief lyrics, prose meditations and offhand epigrams, along with Cohen's ink drawings and work in his own handwriting. The melancholy Cohen displays both a surface humility and an underlying self-confidence as he reflects on women (as when recalling his seduction of "the most beautiful girl/ on the religious left"), Zen doctrine, his own advancing age (Cohen turned 70 two years ago) and the legacy of the '60s. Many poems feel like his song lyrics: "Sometimes just a list/ Of my events/ Is holier than the Bill of Rights/ And more intense." The volume will get a boost from Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, a documentary scheduled for theatrical release. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“[Book of Longing] is not so much an illustrated collection of poems as it is a shaped autobiography.”
— Globe and Mail

“It reaffirms Cohen’s mastery in the domain of desire, and devotees will not be disappointed.”
— Austin Chronicle

“Tenderness may have replaced passion, but Cohen’s ability to capture this shift makes it poignant and meaningful. . . . Cohen has taken what his friend Irving Layton called ‘the inescapable lousiness of growing old’ and has given it, in its waning days, a profound romantic dignity.”
— Montreal Gazette

“He’s shown an uncanny knack for expressing the changing Zeitgeist.”
— Toronto Star

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061125614
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/29/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
230,709
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Book of Longing


By Leonard Cohen

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Leonard Cohen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 006112558X

The Book of Longing

I can't make the hills
The system is shot
I'm living on pills
For which I thank G-d

I followed the course
From chaos to art
Desire the horse
Depression the cart

I sailed like a swan
I sank like a rock
But time is long gone
Past my laughing stock

My page was too white
My ink was too thin
The day wouldn't write
What the night pencilled in

My animal howls
My angel's upset
But I'm not allowed
A trace of regret

For someone will use
What I couldn't be
My heart will be hers
Impersonally

She'll step on the path
She'll see what I mean
My will cut in half
And freedom between

For less than a second
Our lives will collide
The endless suspended
The door open wide

Then she will be born
To someone like you
What no one has done
She'll continue to do

I know she is coming
I know she will look
And that is the longing
And this is the book

Continues...


Excerpted from Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen Copyright © 2006 by Leonard Cohen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproducedor reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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