June 11, 2011

Leonard Cohen: Poems and Songs
Edited by Robert Faggen

Gifted – My dear friend and colleague Susan Mullin gave me this book as a gift the other day. Gifts presented for no special reason, presented at no special time, are perhaps the loveliest gifts – and it’s just like Susan to be so thoughtful. (Thoughtfulness itself is a gift.) And it’s just like Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, too, to present such a handsome collection of fine work from a master. Leonard Cohen has shared his many gifts with all of us in a career spanning more than 50 years. His words only resonate more deeply with each passing year. An example, from “Alexandra Leaving:”

As someone long prepared for this to happen,
Go firmly to the window. Drink it in.
Exquisite music. Alexandra laughing.
Your first commitments tangible again.

You had the honour of her evening,
And by that honour had your own restored –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Alexandra leaving with her lord.


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