Leonard Cohen’s posthumous book of poetry and lyrics, The Flame, written prior to his death in 2016, contains a poem about Kanye West, titled “Kanye West Is Not Picasso.”
A press release for the book says that “The Flame is the final work from Leonard Cohen, the revered poet, and musician whose fans span generations and whose work is celebrated throughout the world. Featuring poems, excerpts from his private notebooks, lyrics, and hand-drawn self-portraits, The Flame offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist.”
The foreword was written by Leonard’s son, also a songwriter, Adam Cohen, who notes: “This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet. It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.”
As British site Far Out Magazine notes, while poetry was a form of escapism for Cohen, the Canadian was always wary of labeling himself as a specialist in the field. “I always thought that poetry is the verdict that others give to a certain kind of writing.” he once said. “So to call yourself a poet is a kind of dangerous description. It’s for others; it’s for others to use.”
The inclusion of a poem about Kanye West, as the magazine notes, just shows that Leonard Cohen always in touch with the arts and what was going on there while he was still around.