At 76, after powering back on the music scene with new albums and a worldwide tour, Leonard Cohen may be better known for his music these days, but the Canadian singer started out first as a writer, and only later set his poems up against a backdrop of jazz music. It’s his literary work that Spain recognized Wednesday, awarding him the Prince of Asturias literature award for his work of “immutable merit,” the jury said.
According to the AFP, the jury recognized “his creation of emotional imagery in which poetry and music are fused in an oeuvre of immutable merit... The passing of time, sentimental relationships, the mystical traditions of the East and the West and life sung as an unending ballad make up a body of work associated with certain moments of decisive change at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century.”
It’s impossible to write my own feelings for Leonard Cohen. When his gravelly voice purrs over the musical notes, he sings my heartbreak. Here’s a few of my favorite of the poet-singer’s best songs:
Update: Bob, a BlogPost reader writes, “I know you billed the songs as your choices but don't you think ‘Everybody Knows’ deserves a slot?”
He’s right. That’s the song that introduced me to Cohen when I was just a wee child of 12. There’s just so much good Cohen.
Thanks, Bob. Here you go: