This volume contains 95 poems and prose pieces by the great Canadian author and musician. The Project, The True Desire, The Commentary, Kerensky and The New Leader are prose pieces, whilst The New Step is called a Ballet Drama in One Act. Its four characters are Mary, Diane, Harry and The Collector.
The selection opens with What I'm Doing Here and contains moving poems like, among others, The Hearth, No Partners, Finally I Called, My Teacher Is Dying, Montreal 1964, For Marianne, Hydra 1960, Waiting For Marianne, The Glass Dog, Propaganda, How The Winter Gets In, Island Bulletin, Winter Bulletin, Governments Make Me Lonely, The Music Crept By Us, Lot, The Big World, Streetcars and Another Night With Telescope.
The poem The Only Tourist In Havana Turns His Thoughts Homeward (1961) reminds me of his song Stories of the Street on the album Songs of Leonard Cohen that also deals with a visit to Havana. Both it and Death Of A Leader were written in Havana in April 1961. Queen Victoria And Me appears on the album Live Songs as just Queen Victoria. Some of the poems also appear in the book Poems 1956-68 that was first published in 1969. There are 3 illustrations by the author, titled My Personal Fire, Animals In Love and Fires In Every Window.
The front cover drawing of flowers emerging from stone is by Martin Vaughn-James and the photograph of Cohen on the back is by Sophie Baker. The only drawback is that there is no index of first lines. I highly recommend this book to all fans of Leonard Cohen and those who love 1960s poetry.
The Energy of Slaves
Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs
Songs of Leonard Cohen, Herewith: Music, Words, and Photographs
Essential Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man