In Situ Signs Of Leonard Cohen At Hydra Harbor: Leonard Cohen Tribute – Hydra June 13, 2015

poster3About the Tribute:

The Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 21.30 Hydra celebrates the great artist Leonard Cohen with an event taking place at the Port. The event was organized by the Municipality of Hydra in celebration of Miaouleia 2015 in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy and international clubs Friends of Leonard Cohen.

Excerpt via Google Translate from Η Ύδρα τιμά τον Leonard Cohen by Spilios Spiliotis (Hydra News: June 5, 2015)

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Peter Torbijn of the Netherlands, who took these photos, and to his son Lennard Torbijn, who forwarded them our way.

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The online version of the poster can be viewed below:
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“Does danger cure?” Leonard Cohen (& Marianne) Mail Postcard From Hydra 1965

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Dear Friends … All Good Things, Leonard

My routine cyber-rounds turned up this small gem – a postcard written from Leonard Cohen from Hydra on Jan 20, 1965 to his neighbor, Wallis, then residing in London. While there is no ground-breaking revelation contained in the message (unless Leonard was using invisible ink or a secure code to transmit information covertly) the style itself is impressive enough to warrant posting:

How many postcards1 have you received that included phrases such as these:

Faces of  Dimitris & Carolina filled with strange lost / found grace

Does danger cure?

And it’s somehow heartening to find that in 1965 Leonard Cohen wrote that it was

good to learn that work (good or bad) makes me happiest

Front Of Card

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Identifications

I can offer readers a few annotations:

“Redmond” Frankton Wallis (1933-2006) was a novelist (Point Of Origin) from New Zealand who lived in London and Hydra at various times during the 1960s.

“Dimitris & Carolina” are Demetris Gassoumis and Carolina identified in this photo from  Lagoudera – The Golden Age of Hydra 1959-1967.

hydrapix “Steve” is almost certainly Steve Sanfield, a close friend of Cohen since they met on Hydra more than 50 years ago. A brief biography of Sanfield can be found at Warrior Poets.

Sanfield was the first American student of Zen teacher Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi, who is the “guru in Calif.” In 1969, Cohen served as best man for Sanfield at a wedding officiated by Joshu Sasaki Rosi. Sanfield is also featured in Other Writers, a poem by Leonard Cohen from Book Of Longing:

Steve Sanfield is a great haiku master.
He lives in the country with Sarah,
his beautiful wife,
and he writes about the small things
which stand for all things.

The postcard is archived at the National Library of New Zealand – Wellington. I found it posted Jan 4, 2014 at Adelphe

Credit Due Department: The photo and caption identifying Demetris Gassoumis and Carolina were found by Sophia Koutselini. Peter Torbijn from the Netherlands identified the front of the card as a match for the back.

Note: Originally posted Jan 4, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. Yeah, I know, I haven’t received a personal postcard  in a decade either. Feel free to substitute “email” or “IM” if that helps. []

Leonard Cohen Describes His Reaction On First Landing On Hydra In 1960

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I felt no culture shock, on the contrary, I felt that everywhere else I’d been was culture shock, and this was home. I felt very very much at ease in Hydra … Every corner, every vision – just looking at the corner of your eye – whatever you saw, whatever you felt, whatever you held was beautiful, and you didn’t have to say those words to yourself, it was just…when you picked up a cup you knew by the way that it fitted into your hand that it was the cup that you always had been looking for. And the table that you sat at, that was the table that you wanted to lean on, and the wine, that was ten cents a gallon, was the wine that you wanted to drink, the price you wanted to pay.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Quote is from Leonard Looks Back On The Past. Interview with Leonard Cohen by Kari Hesthamar, Los Angeles, 2005. Accessed 25 June 2014 at LeonardCohenFiles. Originally posted June 25, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photos: Leonard Cohen’s Hydra Home & Haunts

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Leonard Cohen’s Home – Hydra, Greece

I’m posting a few of the photos Mel Joss sent from her 2014 trip to Hydra in the belief that fans may enjoy seeing some of the places Leonard Cohen and Marianne frequented during the 1960s when they lived on the island. At the time of Mel’s visit, Leonard Cohen’s home was occupied by his son, Adam, and his grandson, Cass. From these shots, it appears that Hydra today has retained much of its charm that led so many artists to its shores 50 years ago.

Note: Originally posted July 16, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs So Long Marianne & Talks About Money, Music, Motivation In 1979

Leonard Cohen Sings So Long Marianne; Irving Layton Reads Death Of A Lady’s Man; Marianne Is Haunting

This clip from Harry Rasky’s “The Song Of Leonard Cohen”1 opens with Cohen’s friend, Irving Layton, reading the younger poet’s “Death Of A Lady’s Man”2 and then segues into a particularly wrenching performance of “So Long Marianne” with many photos of Leonard Cohen and Marianne interspersed throughout the song. Finally, Leonard Cohen responds to a query about the motivation for his music, speaking ruefully about exchanging his beatific life in Hydra for “dark hotel rooms” because “the song seized me and the appetite for reaching many people seized me.”

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Leonard Cohen – So Long, Marianne With Poem 1979
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Note: Originally posted May 11, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. “The Song Of Leonard Cohen” was produced in 1980. The performances shown here took  place during the 1979 Field Commander Cohen Tour that was the subject matter of Rasky’s film. []
  2. Death Of A Lady’s Man by Leonard Cohen

    The man she wanted all her life
    was hanging by a thread.
    “I never knew how much
    I wanted you,” she said.
    His muscles they were numbered
    and his style was obsolete.
    “O baby, I have come too late.”
    She knelt beside his feet.

    “I’ll never see a face like yours
    in years of men to come,
    I’ll never see such arms again
    in wrestling or in love.”
    And all his virtues burning
    in the smoky holocaust,
    she took unto herself
    most everything her lover lost.

    Now the master of this landscape
    he was standing at the view
    with a sparrow of St. Francis
    that he was preaching to.
    She beckoned to the sentry
    of his high religious mood.
    She said, “I’ll make a space between my legs,
    I’ll teach you solitude.”

    He offered her an orgy
    in a many-mirrored room;
    he promised her protection
    for the issue of her womb.
    She moved her body hard
    against a sharpened metal spoon,
    she stopped the bloody rituals
    of passage to the moon.

    She took his much-admired
    oriental frame of mind,
    and the heart-of-darkness alibi
    his money hides behind.
    She took his blonde Madonna
    And his monastery wine.
    “This mental space is occupied
    and everything is mine.”

    He tried to make a final stand
    beside the railway track.
    She said, “The art of longing is over
    and it’s never coming back.”
    She took his tavern parliament,
    his cap, his cocky dance;
    she mocked his female fashions
    and his working-class moustache.

    The last time I saw him
    he was trying hard to get
    a woman’s education
    but he’s not a woman yet.
    And the last time that I saw her
    she was living with a boy
    who gives her soul an empty room
    and gives her body joy.

    So the great affair is over
    but whoever would have guessed
    it would leave us all so vacant
    and so deeply unimpressed.
    It’s like our visit to the moon
    or to that other star:
    I guess you go for nothing
    if you really want to go that far. []

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Poignant Recall Of Marianne & Hydra

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Leonard Cohen Reminisces About Hydra And Marianne

This video consists of many scenes of Hydra which frame two brief clips from different interviews with Cohen, both of which focus on him meeting Marianne and living together on the island, all set against the music of “So Long Marianne.”

While the amount of information provided is small,1 Leonard Cohen’s wistfulness is impressively conveyed, especially in the second section that ends with his summary,

I met a girl and I stayed for eight or ten years.

Yeah, that’s the way it was in those days.

I hold that the key to this video is Leonard Cohen’s facial expression when he speaks; it’s a delivery that strikingly belies his self-description, “I’m not a very nostalgic person.”2

Leonard on Marianne

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Note: Originally posted May 17, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. For more historic detail about the years Leonard Cohen shared with Marianne, see Leonard Looks Back On The Past, An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Kari Hesthamar, Los Angeles, 2005. []
  2. From the I’m Your Man documentary []

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: Hydra Pays Tribute To Leonard Cohen June 13, 2015

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The Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 21.30 Hydra celebrates the great artist Leonard Cohen with an event taking place at the Port. The event was organized by the Municipality of Hydra in celebration of Miaouleia 2015 in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy and international clubs Friends of Leonard Cohen.

Excerpt via Google Translate from Η Ύδρα τιμά τον Leonard Cohen by Spilios Spiliotis (Hydra News: June 5, 2015)