In her 2105 album The Trackless Woods, Iris Dement sings English translations of some poems by the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. I think there has been only one reference (viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10345&p=357664&hil ... ds#p357664) to the album on this forum so far. The album reminds me of Leonard Cohen not only because it consists of poems sung to simple melodies but also because some of the poetry itself is reminiscent of Leonard Cohen. For example, Track 12 which is based on the poem “Song about Songs” (translated by L. Coffin) seems to describe many a Leonard Cohen song:
It will burn you at the start,
As if to breezes you were bare,
Then drop deep into your heart
Like a single salty tear.
And a heart full of spite
Will come to know regret,
And this sorrow, although light,
It will not forget,
Others will reap. I only sow.
Of course! When the triumphant horde
Of scythers lays the grain low,
Bless them, O Lord!
And so that I may lift
My eyes in thanks to You above,
Let me give the world a gift
More incorruptible than love.
Other poems pick up Leonard Cohen-like themes, including Old Testament references (e.g. “Lot’s Wife”). Here’s another one, track 8, “Reject the burden” (translated by B. Deutsch):
Reject the burden of all earthly solace,
Put from your heart the claims of home and wife;
Does your child hunger? Give unto a stranger
The bread that else would feed that little life.
Humble yourself to be the meanest servant
Of your worst enemy, and learn to call
The brute beast of the forest ways your brother,
And ask of God nothing, nothing at all.
I hope some people, who have not already done so, might enjoy the album.
Anjani, Sharon Robinson, NEeMA, The Webb Sisters, Dino Soldo, Jennifer Warnes, Perla Batalla, Julie Christensen, Unified Heart Touring Band, Leonard's tours musicians...
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