Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
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Poet Gary Snyder turned 75 on the 8th of may. As his personal legend goes, women, poetry and zen have always been his things, in a way much like for LC. Anybody knows anything about a possible influence or connection between Gary Snyder and Leonard Cohen?
This is from David Boucher's book "Dylan and Cohen, poets of rock and roll"
Boucher notes Gary Snyder's influence on Dylan, but does not record any specific connection with Leonard.Cohen had great admiration for the Beat poets. Cohen was at Columbia University in New York when Ginsberg's Howl came out, and his own let us compare mythologies was published in the same year, 1956. In 1985 he described Ginsberg as the greatest contemporary poet in the United States, who, with Jack Kerouac and Gregory Corso, reinvigorated modern poetry. The whole thrust of Beat poetry was anticonventional, railing against the accepted mores of sex, art, and religion. It was a movement that was also anti-intellectual, a traint with which Cohen empathized.
Cohen had experienced the beatnik scene of Greenwich village four years befor Dylan. He associated with minor Beat poets and experienced their readings in the coffeehouses around the village, and was excited by their bohemian lifestyles and irreverent commentaries on the dominant culture. Seeing Kerouac perform with indomitable panache and animated style the year before the publication of his novel On the road (1957) inspired Cohen to couple his poetic tastes with a predilection for prose expression. Evidence for Cohens fascination with the decadence of Beat and it's obsession with fame is his poem on Alexander Trocchi in Flowers for Hitler.
I feel that if Mr. Cohen ever read Kerouac's Dharma Bums, he would have been won over by Kerouac's rendering of Gary Snyder as the charismatic Zen guru, Japhy Ryder. a lot of people consider Dean Moriarty to be the hero of Kerouac's ouevre, but for me, Japhy Ryder holds that title
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