A Literary Journey With Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen was born on September 21, 1934 in Montreal, Canada. He is a renowned musician, poet, and an influential singer-songwriter of the 20th century. From an early age, Cohen became interested in poetry. In his adolescence, he began to write poems and essays expressing his emotions and reflections. 

While a student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, he became involved in literary and publishing activities. In 1951 he was president of the McGill Poetry Club and, in 1953, he founded Coven magazine.

Leonard Cohen's first steps as a writer

In 1956, at the age of 22, Leonard Cohen published his first book "Let Us Compare Mythologies", a collection of poems with themes such as love, identity, loneliness, and the search for the meaning of life. With this work, he won the literary prize Governor General's Award for Poetry in Canada.

In 1961, he published his second poetry collection “The Spice-Box of Earth,” known for its lyrical style and evocative imagery. After writing it, he went to an island in Greece to work on his next book, “Flowers for Hitler", published in 1964, a collection of poems that touched on philosophical and political themes.

His first novel was “Beautiful Losers”, published in 1966. It is a novel about a love triangle where the protagonists are obsessed by Catherine Tekakwitha, a 17th-century saint. This novel is considered one of the best modern works of Canadian literature.

In 1969 he published “Parasites of Heaven”, another collection of poetry known for its reflective tone, it also contains poems that would be the basis of some of his most beloved songs such as “Suzanne” and “Avalanche”.

The artistic legacy of a multifaceted writer

In 1972 he published “The energy of Slaves”, a controversial, intense, dark collection and is considered one of his most convincing and complex works. In this work he examines the human condition and the notion that we are all slaves in some way. It also addresses themes such as war and oppression.

His last novel was “Death of a Lady's Man,” published in 1978. It tells the story of a man in his middle years who is suffering an existential and emotional crisis. Cohen was a writer and musician, and it is said that this work inspired him to write some lyrics for songs such as the eponymous song “Death of a Lady's Man.” The song “Paper Thin Hotel” is believed to be related to the novel because it is related to themes of love, heartbreak, and an introspection on human relationships.

Book of Mercy", published in 1984, is a collection of poetry that explores themes of spirituality and redemption. In 1993 he published “Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs", a work that combines poems and songs from throughout his artistic career.

In 2006, he published “The Book of Longing,” a collection of poems and poetic prose in different styles, from lyrical to more reflective meditations. In this work he reflects the influence of Jewish mysticism and Zen Buddhism. Some of his poems were adapted for songs such as “A thousand kisses deep.”

Pages and aromas: The pleasure of enjoying a good book and a delicious coffee

Come enjoy a relaxing time at A Page in The Sun with your favorite beverage. Every Monday in September take advantage of our 2x1 promo on small cappuccino with regular milk for only $60 pesos. Bring a friend!