Hydra and the Bananas of Leonard Cohen by Roger Green

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English poet Roger Green left the safety of God, country, and whiskey to immerse himself in an austere and sober life on the Greek Island of Hydra. But when Green discovered that his terrace overlooked the garden of sixties balladeer Leonard Cohen, he became obsessed with Cohen's songs, wives, and banana tree. Hydra starts with a poem the author wrote and recited for his fifty-seventh birthday (borrowing the meter of Cohen's "Suzanne," and ripe with references to the song), with Cohen's ex-partner Suzanne, who may or may not be the subject of Cohen's song, in the audience. By turns playful and philosophic, Green's unconventional memoir tells the story of his journey down the rabbit hole of obsession, as he confronts the meaning of poetry, history, and his own life. Beginning as a poetic meditation upon Leonard Cohen's bananas, Green's bardic pilgrimage takes the reader on various twists and turns until, at last, the poet accepts the joy of accepting his fate.

About Roger Green

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Roger Greenis an English poet living on the Greek island of Hydra. Among his publications are several books of poetry, includingWolvercote DreamingandNotes from Overground by Tiresias. In 1987 the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary published his translation of theAkathistos Hymnby Romanos the Melodist.
Published April 30, 2009 by Basic Books. 252 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Green's idiosyncrasies occasionally annoy—as when he starts a new paragraph with the sentence, "I think I'll start a new paragraph"—but just as often he produces little treasures, such as a raunchy 1950s rumba celebrating "Chiquita Banana, down in Martinique," who "dresses in bananas with the mod...

Nov 08 2003 | Read Full Review of Hydra and the Bananas of Leon...

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