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Sadly a bit disappointing
on 30 December 2015
This book contains a collection of Leonard Cohen's poems written over several decades, a few of which became lyrics for the album 'Ten New Songs'. There are also many drawings, often self portraits and some prose.
I have been listening to the music of Leonard Cohen for many years and rate him highly as a songwriter and recording artist. However this is the first book of his poetry that I have read and sadly I have been rather disappointed. I think the fact the book contains material from several different decades contributes to the book's lack of cohesion. There are a few real gems here but I found some of the poems a bit sketchy and/or uninteresting. As for the drawings, they are on occasion rather clever and humorous but others, in my opinion, are not really worthy of inclusion. In future I may decide to read another of Leonard Cohen's poetry books but unfortunately this one didn't make a big impression on me.
In 2007 Philip Glass created a song cycle containing about 20 of the poems from The Book of Longing and a recording of this is available from Orange Mountain Music.