Leonard Cohen at 80 #mondayblogs #writing #canada




Most writers and indeed many people would flip out just to possess even an ounce of Leonard Cohen’s confidence. Some would take having his confidence over having all of his writing talent.

There are many nights that I would lie awake and read “Stranger Music” as it was my introduction to Cohen’s words on paper. By this point I had heard some tracks from his new at the time album “The Future”, and had begun to hear his older songs for the first time.

A friend owned the tribute collection “Tower of Song” which I quickly borrowed and wore-out. Hearing the Tori Amos version of “Famous Blue Raincoat” and Jann Arden’s epic cover of “If It Be Your Will” is surely to encourage and inspire anyone to want to read further into the mind of this Icon of writing. The songs are timeless and continue to be recorded by musicians the world over. Like Bob Dylan’s extensive catalog, you can find dozens of versions of Cohen classics out there.

Cohen’s poetry teaches some valuable lessons in his writing. The poetry and song lyrics in particular teach expressive communication while educating the reader on interpretive thinking. So much of his work is subjective to a myriad of different conclusions by readers. Readers probably can relate a personal story to any of his pieces and feel like they could have written it for the moment and memory they thought of.

Cohen’s controversial fiction work “Beautiful Losers” is held high in Canadian literary circles and rightfully so. It explored deeply into the scrutinized and scowled-upon topic of sex while adding passages of other subjects. It remains one of my favourite works of fiction and I have gone so far as to call it the greatest work of Canadian fiction ever to be written and read.

Cohen recently released am album of new songs which he called “Popular Problems”.  As I write this I learned that it was already certified gold.

At 80 years of age, reaching new audiences and influencing a new generation of writers clearly is not a popular problem for Leonard Cohen. 




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