Title The Flame
Year published 2018
Publisher McClelland and Stewart Limited, Canada
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Format Hardcover, 288 pages
ISBN 9780771024412
Summary Foreword by Adam Cohen. Read it here


"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."


REVIEW by June Sawyers (First published on September 15, 2018 (Booklist):

"Leonard Cohen had a final wish: he wanted enough time to put his affairs in order and assemble a final collection of his last works. Thus, The Flame contains lyrics from his last three albums, including the critically acclaimed You Want It Darker—released several weeks before his death, at age 82, on November 7, 2016—as well as poems, excerpts from his notebooks, and drawings. Among his last song lyrics is the poignant “Happens to the Heart.” Cohen writes, “I was working steady, but I never called it art.” His topics will be familiar to anyone who knows Cohen’s work: loneliness, faith (Cohen was a self-proclaimed observant Jew who had a long association with Buddhism), gratitude, the essential brokenness of the human spirit, and, of course, love—always love and its numerous manifestations. As the days become shorter, Cohen prays for courage “to greet the sickness / And the cold” and, ultimately, to see death as a “friend.” Poignant and brave, lit up with flashes of anger, this is a luminous collection and classic Cohen."