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Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs [Kindle Edition]

Leonard Cohen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When his fist album was released in 1967, Leonard Cohen was already well known in his native Canada as a poet and novelist, and in the United States as the writer behind Judy Collins' hugely popular recording of 'Suzanne'. With the sucess of the first and through the release of ten more albums, Cohen gained a reputation as a highly literate and daring songwriter.

Over the years his status as a cult artist has grown, and in 1988 the release of his album 'I'm Your Man' put Cohen back into the mainstream spotlight. Later, 'The Future' brought him renewed, widespread acclaim and this collection will include lyrics from that album, together with many of his famous classics, such as 'Suzanne', 'Joan of Arc' and 'The Chelsea Hotel'.

Stranger Music brings together Cohen's song lyrics and a generous selection of his poetry (originally published between 1956-1992). It is a long overdue celebration of Leonard Cohen's extraordinary gift for language that speaks with rare clarity, passion and timelessness.

Product Description


"A godsend for Cohen fans... A remarkable body of work that takes us back to the earliest days" Ottawa Citizen "A massive record of the poet's imaginative journey, through beauty, through horror, through the extremes of love and despair, from the deepest abyss of self-abnegation to the rare and necessary moments of ecstasy. The language ranges from the exquisitely beautiful to the darkly obscene, from the romantically inspired to the ironically banal... A poetic record like no other" Toronto Star "Impressive by any standard" The Globe and Mail

Book Description

Some of the best work of one of the most enduring poet/songwriters of our time collected.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 463 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (23 Feb. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #352,825 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, thought provoking poetry 21 Sept. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was introduced to Leonard Cohen's work very recently through Alexandra Burke's Hallelujah and realised that the lyrics had far more depth and subtlety than most 'pop' songs. I wish I had 'discovered' him earlier. This book is packed full of his poems and lyrics. As he avoids cliches and the obvious, you have to work at the layers of meaning (as with most good modern poetry), but the reward is well worth the effort.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic, dark, and beautiful. . . 27 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
Cohen's poetry is much like his music, only more so. It is dark, intimate, sensual, and it has a tendency to get under your skin. I keep this book under my bed so that it is always handy to grab at a moments notice, and because it is too personal to be put in my bookcase. . .
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true heart of Leonard Cohen,.,,, 15 July 2005
This chunky collection contains a reasonable amount of his poetry, a selection of his early lyrics, and thankfully short extracts from his two novel attempts.
Cohen is, first and foremost, a poet. But being a singer pays better. He can sing well, and can find his way around many a decent melody, but it is here on the printed page that his real genius resides. Having said that, his two novel attempts were not successful, losing themselves in the same way that Dylan's stab at the genre did.
The poems are best enjoyed in leasured re-reading. As for the lyrics, they stand up well on the starkness of the printed page and, as Cohen's early albums don't come with a lyric sheet, this is a good source to really study some of those early masterpieces...
A must for Cohen fans.
An intrigueing purchase for the curious.
I would still be happier with a complete poems and, if possible, a complete lyrics.
Well, one can always hope....
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Leonard Cohen's Stranger Music is a fantastic introductory collection to the work of Leonard Cohen, collecting dozens of his previously published works together to provide an in-depth examination of his writing between 1956 and 1992. It's also home to my favourite Cohen work - 'I Long to Hold Some Lady'. I won't reproduce it here because I encourage you to go and buy the book, but it's a good one.

On top of this, it includes the lyrics to many of his most popular songs, including 'True Love Leaves No Traces' and 'Don't Go Home Without Your Hard-On'. Cohen's a great writer, and his work is underrated and overlooked by many, but he's one of the rare few songwriters who also qualifies as a poet. He's earned his stripes, this one.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Chelsea Hotel, which is one of his finest songs, and for Queen Victoria My Love, the beautiful ode that evolved the other way. Chelsea Hotel is a poem which is primarily a song; Queen Victoria is a song which is primarily a poem. With Cohen, the boundaries are often blurred, and it doesn't really matter whether he's singing or he's writing. You're going to love the outcome either way.

Stranger Music makes a fantastic entry-level introduction to the repertoire of Leonard Cohen, because it contains such a vast selection of his work - even the most casual Cohen fan will have heard some of the songs which are included within the pages, and it's presented alongside the best of the best of the rest of his extended back catalogue.

The only thing that's missing is his excellent prose - in fact, I'm of the opinion that his work as a novelist is on a par with, if not superior to, his work as a poet and a songwriter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute favourite 1 Sept. 2012
By Mr. Christopher Harris VINE VOICE
Cohen is best known to the public as a singer / songwriter but as others have said he is actually a poet and a a very good poet at that. Technically his poetry is first class, ie the verse structure and the rhyming are good. His language and his use of simile:

"Like a bird on a wire
Like a drunk in the midnight choir"

and metaphor:

"She used to wear her hair like you
Except when she was sleeping
And then she'd weave it on a loom
Of smoke and gold and breathing"

are tremendous.

Please do explore one the most important poetic voices of our times.
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