Saturday, April 24, 2010

Leonard Cohen

In 1985, Cohen’s career as a singer-song writer was in a trough and as you’ll hear from my brief, admittedly chirpy radio documentary he was characteristically pragmatic about it all. Interestingly, at the end of our interview Cohen placed a set of headphones over my ears and I was treated to a brand new song he’d just recorded. That song “Halleluiah” would go on to reignite Cohen’s career.

Even more interesting is what he had to say about poetry and the shift away from traditional lyric to language poetry. Listen here:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Emily Dickinson

Dickinson loved to bake bread and prepare desserts for her family, and often lowered a basket of baking from her bedroom window to neighbourhood children waiting below. One of them remembers her gingerbread as "long, oval cakes, crisp and brown or yellow and delicately sweet and gummy." Here’s Dickinson’s original recipe in her own hand:

“1 quart flour; 1/2 cup butter; 1/2 cup cream; 1 tablespoon ginger; 1 teaspoon soda; 1 teaspoon salt. Make up with molasses. Cream the butter and mix with lightly whipped cream. Sift dry ingredients together and combine with other ingredients. The dough is stiff and needs to be pressed into whatever pan you choose. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.”

And don’t forget, Dickinson wrote: "Affection is like bread, unnoticed till we starve, and then we dream of it."

(Submitted by John Donlan)