Leonard Cohen – Original Handwritten Poem Manuscript, Published in his books ‘The Energy of Slaves’ and ‘Stranger Music’

An extraordinarily rare handwritten manuscript for Leonard Cohen’s poem Terez and Diane Elude Me, sent by Cohen to his editor at Viking Books, Corleis ‘Cork’ Smith.

This poem appears (with Diane’s name changed to Deanne) in Cohen’s books The Energy of  Slaves (1972) and Stranger Music (1994), there retitled ‘Far From The Soil’.

Cohen has written out the poem in black felt tip pen, crossing out two lines at the end that were later restored for publication.

Handwritten letters and written works by Leonard Cohen are exceedingly rare.  In the early 1960s, at a time Cohen was a struggling poet living in near poverty on the Greek island of Hydra, the University of Toronto purchased his manuscripts as part of a program to collect the works of promising young Canadian writers.  Afterward Cohen guarded his manuscripts scrupulously, and an exceedingly small number have ever come to market. A 2019 auction of his correspondence with Marianne Ihlen saw a 1960 letter sell for $56,250, while a 1964 letter sold for $35,000.

This poem was part of the collection of Cohen’s book editor Cork Smith (1929-2004), a New York editor who in a 50-year career published many important writers, including Thomas Pynchon,  Jimmy Breslin and Calvin Trillin.

Recordmecca’s Jeff Gold has consulted with the Estate of Leonard Cohen; included is Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity, detailing the provenance, and signed by Gold.  With a paperback copy of Stranger Music, featuring this poem on page 172.

A truly museum-quality Leonard Cohen collectible.


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