Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Leonard Cohen, poet and cavernous voice of the counterculture

The poet, singer, storyteller and songwriter Leonard Cohen Canadian, the troubadour of the deep voice, has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature at 77, an award that comes from Spain, the country of whom García Lorca admires this symbol of American counterculture. Processes such admiration for the poet Leonard Cohen Granada one of the two sons of the singer is named Lorca.

And in the preface to the issue dedicated to Frederick, Take This Waltz, writes that when he read his poems said: "Here was my world. Here was my landscape"!. In the work of Lorca was my world, here was my poetic landscape of deep, Leonard Cohen, a classic after being one of the voices of the marginalized, on the other side, he began writing poems at 16 and 22 published its first title compare mythologies, also inspired by the author of Gypsy Ballads, and in 1961 he published his second book Spice Box of Earth.

Born in Montreal on September 21, 1934, Cohen is the son of Jewish immigrants. He graduated in Literature at McGill University, Montreal, in 1955. He then moved to New York and the grant he received to write, he began to travel in Europe. In the 60's he went to Greece, he settled on the island of Hydra, where he began writing songs and lived for seven years between Europe and America.

In 1963 he published his first novel The favorite game and the following year, the poetry collection Flowers for Hitler than the Boston Globe said: "James Joyce is not dead." In 1966 he returned to America and entered the world of music with singer Judy Collins, who recorded two of his most iconic songs Suzanne and Dress Rehearsal Rag.

The following year he appeared in public and signed with Columbia. In 1967 he released his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen. After a season in Greece, returned to U.S. in 1969. UU. and released his second album, Songs from a room, it was a success, like Songs of Love and Hate (1971), which confirmed him as one large.

He combines music with literary activity, and publishes several books, including Power of slaves and Book of Mercy. After four years of musical silence returned to the stage in 1992 with the album The Future, which this year presented in Madrid. In 1993 he edited a new collection of his writings and published Stranger Music, with lyrics, poems and fragments of some of its articles.

From that moment and after the promotion of The future, the artist retired to a Buddhist monastery in Mount Baldy, a Zen meditation center in California, where he spent nearly seven years to become a monk, who was given the name "Jikan (Silent). There he helped to alleviate one of his great anguish, depression.

He rose at dawn, praying, cooking, painting, meditating ... All hard work and a sediment that has left many of his lyrics full of love, but no hint of romance. During his years of meditation also wrote hundreds of poems and songs and, on leaving the monastery in 1999, began working with Sharon Robinson, with whom he recorded Ten new songs (2001).

In March 2008, and when going through a difficult economic situation, he announced his comeback and chose to do the International Festival of Benicassim and the following year, began in July, a tour of ten concerts in Spain and was forced to suspend of Valencia for a fainting on stage. Cohen, who among the many awards received notes Glenn Gould Prize in 2011, considered the Nobel of the Arts released its latest album last year, Songs from the road, a compilation of his most emblematic recorded on their last tour.

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