Compass Points By Al Purdy
In 1964, Al Purdy, who has been called Canada’s “unofficial poet laureate,” wrote a 14 page consideration of Leonard Cohen’s prose and poetry, which was published as Alfred Purdy, “Leonard Cohen: A Personal Look” in Canadian Literature 23 (Winter 1965). It’s an interesting discussion – very much a poet’s perspective on another poet’s work.
As a sampling from the piece, I’ve excerpted below the final two paragraphs (click on image to enlarge):
As far as I can determine, this paper is available for viewing only at the A.W. Purdy Digital Archive hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Special Collections. It’s an insightful, worthwhile read, accessible at
Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post by Shaun Merritt – Al Purdy Memorial – by Edwin and Veronica Dam de Nogales, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia Commons. Originally posted Feb 12, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric