Book Of Longing - His Master's Voice!!

Everything about Leonard's 2006 book of poetry and Anjani's album
Post Reply
harrybarry
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:55 am

Book Of Longing - His Master's Voice!!

Post by harrybarry » Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:20 pm

I recently bought the Book of Longing and it comprises of a poem, 'His Master's Voice', there is a piano mentioned in the poem, please somebody help me with it's significance!!
I have used all my brain trying to understand!! Please please!!
User avatar
LisaLCFan
Posts: 2087
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Book Of Longing - His Master's Voice!!

Post by LisaLCFan » Sun Jul 11, 2021 9:05 pm

harrybarry wrote:
Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:20 pm
I recently bought the Book of Longing and it comprises of a poem, 'His Master's Voice', there is a piano mentioned in the poem, please somebody help me with it's significance!!
I have used all my brain trying to understand!! Please please!!
While it is often impossible to know exactly what anything means in a poem, it is obvious that Cohen is using the piano and the idea of carrying it as a metaphor, because, presumably he did not carry a real cement grand piano up and down a mountain!

I think the more pertinent aspect of the poem is the reference to Mozart, who, presumably, is the "Master", and Mozart's music is the "Master's Voice".* Perhaps what the poem is saying is that listening to Mozart gives Leonard strength -- he derives strength, courage, and determination from the music, such that he feels like he could actually carry a cement grand piano up and down a mountain. Classical music has been known to lift one's spirit, especially in difficult times, and to transform and strengthen a person's resolve and general state of being. When Leonard was at Mt. Baldy, he seems to have been struggling with various adversities in his life (including the rigours of living there), and Mozart's music may have helped him get through it.

At least, that is how I interpret the poem.

* In case you missed the allusion in the title, I copy this excerpt from Wikipedia:

"His Master's Voice (HMV) was the unofficial name of a major British record label created in 1901 by The Gramophone Co. Ltd. The phrase was first coined in the late 1890s as the title of a painting depicting a terrier-mix dog named Nipper listening to a wind-up disc gramophone. In the original 1898 painting, the dog is listening to a cylinder phonograph. It was a famous trademark and logo of the RCA Victor record label."

His Master's Voice, by Leonard Cohen.

After listening to Mozart
(which I often did)
I would always
Carry a piano
Up and down
Mt. Baldy
And I don’t mean
A keyboard
I mean a full-sized
Grand piano
Made of cement
Now that I am dying
I don’t regret
A single step
harrybarry
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:55 am

Re: Book Of Longing - His Master's Voice!!

Post by harrybarry » Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:32 am

Hey oh yes! It makes sense now!! It makes so much sense now!! Heyyyyy!! Thank you sooo much!! I really appreciate that in depth explanation of the significance. Thank you so much!!
It all really makes sense now.
User avatar
LisaLCFan
Posts: 2087
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Book Of Longing - His Master's Voice!!

Post by LisaLCFan » Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:19 am

Glad to have helped. Cheers!
Post Reply

Return to “Book of Longing”