Leonard Cohen—Canada’s iconic poet and musician—died on Nov. 10, at the age of 82. It was a keenly felt loss, perhaps especially so given the fact that the announcement of his passing came on the eve of Remembrance Day, a time reserved for the honouring of those who fought in war and those who sacrificed everything for their country.
It’s only fitting, then, that Cohen recited Remembrance Day’s signature poem, “In Flanders Field,” to honour the rondeau’s 100th anniversary last year for Legion Magazine. His deep, well-hewn baritone delivers Canadian Lt.-Col John McCrae’s baleful words perfectly, and there is something surely haunting about his reading of the poem’s climactic declaration: “We are the dead.”
On this day dedicated to remembrance, Cohen’s reading is a must-listen. Lest we forget.
Read more of our stories on Leonard Cohen’s passing:
- Share your memories of life and Leonard Cohen
- Maclean’s last profile of Cohen, on his album grappling with mortality
- How “Hallelujah” became musical Holy Writ
- An excerpt from Leonard Cohen’s unofficial biography
- From 1966: We asked, ‘Is the world ready for Leonard Cohen?’
- From 1972: We profiled a Leonard Cohen uncomfortable with his fame
- From 1978: We found out whether the death of a ladies’ man was premature
- From 2001: Brian D. Johnson spent the weeks around 9/11 with Cohen
- A backstage conversation with Cohen on hats, drinking, and Bob Dylan