Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1961. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's black cloth over patterned paper-covered boards, spine gilt, upper board pictorially stamped in black and lettered in red, patterned endpapers, original black dust jacket lettered in gold with cut-out window.
First edition of revered Canadian poet and singer-songwriter Cohen’s second collection of poems: "You have the lovers, / they are nameless, their histories only for each other, / and you have the room, the bed and the windows. / Pretend it is a ritual" ("You Have the Lovers"). Published when Cohen was 27 years old, Spice-Box preceded the release of his first studio record, The Songs of Leonard Cohen, by several years, though the early beginnings of several of his songs, including "Hallelujah," may be found in its pages. In a letter to his publisher prior to the collection's publication, Cohen noted that he wanted his work to be accessible to "inner-directed adolescents, lovers in all degrees of anguish, disappointed Platonists, pornography-peepers, hair-handed monks and Popists, French-Canadian intellectuals, unpublished writers, curious musicians etc., all that holy following of my art" (quoted in Simmons, I'm Your Man). Light shelfwear to bottom edges of boards; unclipped dust jacket with a few nicks to head of spine, flap folds, and along top edge. Near fine. Item #837