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The Flame

Hardcover Book
Publisher: 
McClelland & Stewart
 | 
October, 2018
ISBN:
9780771024412
In stock now: 
2
$32.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Just weeks before his death in late 2016, Leonard Cohen told The New Yorker that he was ready for the end to come. He just wanted enough time to put his last book in order. Fortunately, that time was granted. The Flame is Cohen’s eloquent farewell, a valedictory collection of lyrics and poems that maps his singular creative journey.

In addition to new poems about war, desire, regrets, lamb chops, and hummingbirds, and lyrics from his last three albums, including the final “You Want It Darker,” The Flame includes carefully selected excerpts—both writing and drawings— from Cohen’s voluminous notebooks, which he kept faithfully, in poetic form, all his life. Listeners will hear about the subjects that have always preoccupied Cohen: the dimensions of love, the secret code of existence, and the hope for transcendence in a broken world.

In the words of Cohen’s longtime manager and friend, Robert Kory, The Flame “reveals to all the intensity of his inner fire” to the end.

An enormously powerful final chapter, The Flame showcases the full range of Leonard Cohen’s lyricism, from the exquisitely transcendent to the darkly funny. By turns devastatingly sad and winningly strange, these are the works of a poet and lyricist who has plumbed the depths of our darkest questions and come up wanting, yearning for more.

So I’ve come here to revisit

What happens to the heart

I was selling holy trinkets

I was dressing kind of sharp

Had a pussy in the kitchen

And a panther in the yard

In the prison of the gifted

I was friendly with the guard…

 

It ain’t pretty, it ain’t subtle

What happens to the heart

Now the angel’s got a fiddle

And the devil’s got a harp

Every soul is like a minnow

Every mind is like a shark

I’ve opened every window

But the house, the house is dark

Just say Uncle, then it’s simple

What happens to the heart

I was always working steady

But I never called it art…

 

Sure it failed my little fire

But it’s bright the dying spark

Go tell the young messiah

What happens to the heart

      (June 24, 2016)

This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet,” writes Cohen’s son, Adam Cohen, in his foreword. “It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end… Each page of paper that he blackened was lasting evidence of a burning soul.”

I have witnessed many great events, some of which were sorrowful: the birth of children, the death of friends, the ends of time & the intermediate wildernesses. A chill goes down my spine and up, when I reflect how graciously I have been placed in the mazes of creation. My beloved is with me, the wife of my youth, and in the midst of suffering when it is our lot, if I remember to incline my self toward the source of light, I know that I have never strayed too far from my bridal days. As it was promised, I have inherited the gates of my enemy, and I fear with him, rejoice with him, at the irresistible tides of majesty that sweep across the world.

“With Cohen, one feels he knew who he was and where he was going from the beginning, and only digs deeper, deeper, deeper.” —Pico Iyer

Publisher’s Description: 

The final work from Leonard Cohen, Canada's most celebrated poet and an artist whose audience spans generations and whose work is known and loved throughout the world.

The Flame is a stunning collection of Leonard Cohen's last poems, selected and ordered by the author in the final months of his life. Featuring lyrics, prose pieces, and illustrations, the book also contains an extensive selection from Cohen's notebooks, which he kept in poetic form throughout his life, and offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist and thinker.

An enormously powerful final chapter in Cohen's storied literary career, The Flame showcases the full range of Leonard Cohen's lyricism, from the exquisitely transcendent to the darkly funny. By turns devastatingly sad and winningly strange, these are the works of a poet and lyricist who has plumbed the depths of our darkest questions and come up wanting, yearning for more.

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