Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs

Overview

For the first time in paperback—the selected work of the legendary singer, poet, and performer. Stranger Music presents a magnificent cross-section of Cohen's work—including 11 previously unpublished poems—and demonstrates definitively that Cohen is a writer of dazzling intelligence and a force that transcends genres.

For the first time in paperback--the selected work of the legendary singer, poet, and performer. Stranger Music presents a magnificent cross-section ...

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Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs

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Overview

For the first time in paperback—the selected work of the legendary singer, poet, and performer. Stranger Music presents a magnificent cross-section of Cohen's work—including 11 previously unpublished poems—and demonstrates definitively that Cohen is a writer of dazzling intelligence and a force that transcends genres.

For the first time in paperback--the selected work of the legendary singer, poet, and performer. Stranger Music presents a magnificent cross-section of Cohen's work--including 11 previously unpublished poems--and demonstrates definitively that Cohen is a writer of dazzling intelligence and a force that transcends genres.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cohen is probably best known as the writer of the lyrics for the song ``Suzanne,'' made famous by Judy Collins, but has written a great many other songs, too, as well as poetry and prose poetry not set to music. In reading through this generous selection, one often hears the ghost of musical accompaniment, and sometimes its actual presence is missed. The writing alone, forthright in its rhythms, plain of speech, often rhymed, and almost immediately accessible, seems well suited to the ears of a live audience. So fans of the songs will be in luck, here; but readers who prefer slow subtleties, or a kind of poetry that gradually expands in meaning on rereading, or ambitious craft, won't find it in a piece like ``For Anne,'' which begins ``With Annie gone, / Whose eyes to compare / With the morning sun?'' Cohen's writing is oral in flavor, and asks us to ``read'' it mainly by hearing it. This works to the disadvantage of a book, where words stay put and aren't sung. Dec.
Library Journal
To appreciate these poems, we must suspend any notions of poetry as an intellectual art form and approach this work as one would a rack of greeting cards. Rhyme abounds, frankly showing Cohen at his best because it holds his didactic nature in check. Although there are few surprises, such as the wonderful early poem ``Beneath My Hands,'' the songs from Cohen's first album, written over 30 years ago, are still his finest displays of outrageous yet stunning imagery. The presence of woman as lover, prostitute, or slave, celebrated in these early songs, continues into his latest work, making over 400 pages seem remarkably flimsy. That these women never seem to exist as individuals will possibly offend readers with a feminist bent. Yet despite almost pornographic descriptions, this Jewish poet still will not write outG-d's name. The Buddhist element in his 1984 poetry collection, Book of Mercy , is now scarcely evident. Despite its flaws, this book is recommended for popular collections.-- Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York
From the Publisher
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.”
Calgary Herald

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.”
Toronto Star

Stranger Music is a record of Cohen’s dispatches from the front, an invaluable record of a shining voice. It burns still.”
Ottawa Citizen

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679755418
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 408,197
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal in 1934. He received his B.A. from McGill University and pursued graduate studies in English at Columbia University. Soon thereafter, he returned to Montreal and worked in his family’s clothing business while he continued to write poetry.

His artistic career began in 1956 with the publication of Let Us Compare Mythologies. He has published nine collections of poetry, most recently, Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs (1993), and two novels, The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). During the sixties he achieved national and international acclaim as a composer-singer. He has made seventeen albums, the latest being Dear Heather (2004). Numerous tribute albums, in many languages, have celebrated his songs.

Cohen was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991, and promoted to the rank of Companion in 2003. He received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 1993, and has won numerous Juno Awards.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2001

    A necessary read

    I originally picked up this book as a rainy-day read out of my oldest brother's ex-college-library collection. Little did I know what a beautiful pattern of words it encompassed. This is entertaining inspiration even for the rhyme-who-with-you poet. No one will be excluded from feeling this book's fire, which I recommend to warm you throughout the winter months and light your life through late summer evenings. It is more poetry than a book, yet more a story than poetry. 'Stranger Music' has kept my mind creative and my soul deep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2000

    essential to any poetry/prose collection

    Now that I have read this book, Cohen's past has become even more brilliant. This collection paints a new and distinct picture with every chapter.

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    Posted November 18, 2008

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    Posted June 14, 2009

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