Leonard Cohen began his artistic career in 1956 with the publication of his first book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies. He went on to publish 12 more books, including two celebrated novels, and gained worldwide recognition as an iconic singer-songwriter. He released 14 studio albums, including three in the last years of his life when he also became one of the most acclaimed arena-performing artists in the world. Among his numerous honours, he is the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award 2010, the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature 2011, the inaugural New England PEN Award for Excellence in Lyrics 2012, the 2016 Juno Awards for Song of the Year and Album of the Year, and he has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the US Songwriters Hall of Fame. He died in November 2016.
The last word in love and despair . . . Full of youthful spark,
beauty and romance . . . Elegantly and posthumously published . . .
Leonard Cohen does not use language to pose, startle or reinvent.
Words are his old comrades, and see him through to the end -- Kate
Kellaway * * Observer, Poetry book of the month * *
Cohen was a poet before he was a musician, and with this posthumous collection his career completes its circle. Encompassing poems and lyrics written in his last decade, as well as self-portraits and notebook extracts, the book is introduced by his son Adam Cohen * * Financial Times, Best Poetry Books of 2018 * *
Cohen's enduring, beautiful bleakness is the draw here. His gift for understated melancholia is on each blackening page * * Daily Mail, Best Books of 2018 * *
We'll be listening to Cohen - still smirking and smiling - for decades to come, with this collection as our companion * * Spectator * *
For his final publication, he left almost nothing to chance . . . The Flame shows the emphasis that Cohen put on distillation . . . Included in various proportions are love, sex, death, regret, exaltation, piety and gentle fondness. The blending of the earthy with the spiritual would give John Donne and Marvin Gaye a run for their money * * Guardian * *
The Flame is a gift . . . These poems and lyrics are as startling and stirring, as clever, funny and sorrowful as we came to expect from a poet/singer/songwriter . . . [A] treasure trove * * Big Issue * *
If you felt Leonard Cohen's death in 2016 as a personal assault, this book is a posthumous balm . . . All of Cohen's work has a raw, straight-to-the-heart intensity - reach for this the next time you need inspiration for a wedding toast that will leave them gutted, or any other moment you need a little sustenance for the soul * * Vogue * *
Cohen's final volume shows his poetic soul. If you know the man only because of "Hallelujah" or "Suzanne," pick up The Flame and warm yourself within its pages * * Washington Post * *
It's clear that Cohen remained sharp until the very end, and the book, a kind of farewell tribute by the poet-prophet, offers ample evidence of his abiding sense of humor . . . What Cohen offered his many fans and followers was the opportunity to partake of the kind of spiritual experience that makes it possible for us to feel, if only for a moment, that we are not alone * * Los Angeles Review of Books * *
A gorgeous collection of the late, great Leonard Cohen's last poems and writings, it's an essential read for any fan * * NME * *