The Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen

The Book of Longing is a compilation of poems and sketches from Leonard Cohen's 'earlier poet days' and written during his time in a Buddhist monastery. They are poems of reflection, observation and personal experience being a man. As always, Mr. Cohen's poetry is poignant, playful, tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating, brooding and enlightening. These poems are less lyrical, and closer to abstract musings, lending us glimpses or snapshots into his younger male life and comparing or lamenting his youth with his current, older self; longing for things spent, gone or lost. A few poems left me with a chuckle from the surprise ending:  an intimate proclamation, or something sexual. Honestly, my first thought was "Leonard Cohen is a dirty old man!" but it is far from the truth -- the truth is that he is a man and, of course, his younger self still exists in him. We all encompass a body memory, and hold tight to a moment in time that altered or awoke us. Leonards poems are a gift, a sharing of pieces of himself. We are fortunate to have him.