Well, I just finished reading Flowers for Hitler this afternoon as I sat with our 4 dogs to keep them from barking while Dave took the buyers of our precious little farm on their final walk-through. (I share this personal info not just to give context to my final reading but to explain my previous comments of 'stuff' going on and to make excuses for any sporadic posting in the future.)
My favourite poem from the final pages is the poem Lot on page 119. I especially liked the lines:
"or where does it come from
....this soft total chant that drives my soul
....like a spear of salt into the rock"
My final, preliminary (sorry for the oxymoron) verdict on Flowers is this.... I was surprised by how much I liked it and also frustrated that most of the time, I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. I think the rhythm of the music and the rhyming verse in his songs, as well as the narrative story behind his introductory novel have tricked me into thinking that I have understood what he is saying. But reading free-verse poetry is like tracking treasure through muddy marshes and dead ends, and reaching out for the ring and grabbing air... but I am committed to persevere.
I have been having a small look at some of the other threads here on The Poetry Place, and have been trying to understand the interpretations and explanations. I work as a paraprofessional (fancy word for teacher's aide) in the library of an elementary (primary) school, and when we are helping a student understand a new concept, we over-explain and simplify things in an educational technique known as "scaffolding". I especially appreciate members here on the Poetry Place that are willing to do that for someone like me who is new to Leonard and willing to learn.
I am moving on to either Parasites of Heaven or Beautiful Losers as soon as I figure out which one is next chronologically?
Thanks again for listening...
Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
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