About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Leonard Cohen - Canada's Poet

On March 10, Canada's Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He's been labelled "the poet laureate of pessimism", "the grocer of despair", "the godfather of gloom" and "the prince of bummers". He has, none the less, given pleasure and even laughter to the million or so people who buy his records.

I first heard of this highly-regarded poet, singer, and songwriter in October 1972 when my then to be husband asked me if I'd like to go back to his place and listen to his Leonard Cohen records. After his invitation, which I regarded as extremely original and much better than "come on up and see my etchings," I did listen to all his records and was very impressed. Brian had every one of LC's records up to that point in time and in the years to come, I gave him more. Whenever we'd go to the lake for our holidays, Brian would play LC's songs on his guitar at the campfire and I got to know all the words to "Suzanne," "So Long Marianne," "Hallelujah," "First We Take Manhattan," and others. In 1987, we saw Leonard Cohen perform live in Ottawa and he was absolutely amazing!

Two years ago, Cohen published his Book of Longing and I was able to get an autographed copy for my daughter. She treasures it as she knows how much her Dad loved Leonard Cohen. Have a listen to "Suzanne" here on youtube and you can see why he's in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame, and a Companion of the Order of Canada.

17 comments:

MedStudentWife said...

I just love Leonard's music & poetry!!!!!!

I am glad he is finally getting recognition.

Kinda sad its only now & I wonder if his financial troubles pushed any of this.

mommanator said...

what a beautiful song! nearly brought me to tears! No wonder your hubby liked him!

jmb said...

Oh Leslie he's a wonderful poet and songwriter but he's a terrible singer.

I love his work and his books but only own one CD where he sings. Luckily some wonderful singers have immortalized his songs.

Casdok said...

An autographed copy, how wonderful!

kissa said...

It was obviously a chat upline way back when? as my husband introduced me to L.C. in much the same way. We then spent many long late evenings, listening with student intensity, to his work. Still really enjoy his work but a little at a time as it deserves concentration to do it justice. Bird on the wire has got to be my all time favourite

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What a lot of memories this post has brought back for me - thank you, Leslie.

Janice Thomson said...

His work is magnificent - I'm delighted he's received recognition.
"Suzanne" is a very moving song. Thanks for this post Leslie.

Josie said...

Leslie, I agree with JMB. Leonard Cohen is a wonderful poet, but he is a terrible singer. His singing depresses me. But as a poet, there is no one better here in Canada.

What wonderful memories for you!

RuneE said...

Congratulations with Leonard Cohen! We have lots of his recordings and I still envy my wife for going to a concert and I had to stay home and babysit.

mommanator said...

I have listened to that song so many times I must get one of his cd's

Smalltown RN said...

Yes it would have been the mid to late 80's when I came familiar with his work...he's a terrible singer but an outstanding song writer....

geewits said...

I IMDB'ed him and it looks like he could live on just the royalties from "Hallelujah." He kinda looks like Dustin Hoffman and sounds like him too.

sally in norfolk said...

I had only known Geoff a short while when he took me to the pictures to see the Leonard Cohen film, I'm your man.
I had to confess that i had never heard of him but from that moment on I was hooked ... I love his music and will always associate geoff with him :-)
I would love to have one of his books

sally in norfolk said...

I do believe I heard on the radio that he is about to do a tour aswell

meggie said...

One of my favourite artists!

Rosie said...

I am a fan of our Mr Cohen too. He has lasted well hasnt he? He still sounds good.

Anonymous said...

i met leonard today june 16 in the gresham hotel dublin posed for pics signed a couple of iteams saw 2 concerts here the 2 nights before amazing a true genius paul