The Flame by Leonard Cohen: a farewell

Why should you read this book?

After taking my time with The Flame by Leonard Cohen, I am officially finished and inevitably left with a sense of disquiet, of inquietude. I can’t even begin to describe how Cohen – as a musician and a writer – moves me. His inimitable poetic voice and his world of suffering and sensuality feel like a temple to me.

The Flame, published in 2018, is the final work from Leonard Cohen. This book features poems, excerpts from his private notebooks, lyrics and hand-drawn self-portraits, presenting itself like an entryway to this man’s soul. If I could choose just one word to describe this book, it would be loss. Aging, love, darkness, death are crucial themes but loss is the leitmotif, in my opinion. One of the things I have always loved about Cohen is how complex and utterly conflicted he appeared to be. That made him honest and tangible. The Flame clearly portrays that.

There are some memorable lines in this book like one could expect. Cohen was a genius. I highly recommend this book whether you’re a fan of the artist or not! Because if you’re not familiar with his art, prepare yourself because you are about to collide with his unique sight.

I’d like to thank Canongate Books for sending a review copy. You can buy the book here.


The Flame is a stunning collection of Leonard Cohen’s last poems and writings, selected and ordered by Cohen in the final months of his life. The book contains an extensive selection from Cohen’s notebooks, featuring lyrics, prose pieces and illustrations, 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.


Book Details:

Publisher: Canongate Books
Published on: October 2018
Format: Hardback
Pages: 288
Price: £20

4 stars


canongate books leonard cohen the flame

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