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Hopeless Wisdom And Desire Essay

  • Submitted by: samrutledge
  • on February 27, 2011
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,859 words

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Below is an essay on "Hopeless Wisdom And Desire" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Hopeless Wisdom and Desire

The Book of Longing, by Leonard Cohen, is a struggle between bewilderment and acceptance. It strolls down a line between the joy and despair of visceral pleasure, and the solemn recognition of the beauty in simplicity. He published this collection in 2006, after his five-year seclusion as a Buddhist monk on Mount Baldy, California. His Jewish up bringing collides with his Zen learning, and as a result, this collection is saturated with a concoction of religious ideals, albeit, Cohen’s poetry is to stand alone, as he explains that, “there is nothing more irritating than having your work translated by your own life.” His illustrious career as a songwriter is evident in the predominantly basic poetic technique, though, one would argue that this lack of extravagance supplements his pursuit of the genuine. A path through old age, eroticism, enlightenment, and dissatisfaction, brings the reader to a field a fragile truth that reveals the starry sky of an aged master’s hopeless wisdom and desire.


Before delving into the discussion of the collection at hand, we must illustrate a brief history of the author. Leonard Cohen was born on September 21st, 1934. He grew up in Westmount, the upper-middle class neighborhood of Montreal. Though born into a privileged community, his childhood was tragically abrupt with the death of his father in the winter of 1944, thrusting a nine-year-old boy into the psychological responsibilities of, “the chair at the head of the table.” This central event of his youth bequeathed a rationale for his art, as he states that, “deprivation is the mother of poetry.” Raised a Jew, Cohen grew up in the presence of, or lack-there-of, G-D, and this struggle influenced his creativity through to his more recent interest in the study of Buddhism. Trumping, though, his religious, personal achievements, is his praised career as, not only a poet, but a songwriter, novelist, and actor. Winning countless awards, and even the...

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