Marianne and Leonard

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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jarkko
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Marianne and Leonard

Post by jarkko » Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:26 am

I have posted English translation of the interview with Marianne Ihlen, Marianne of the song. She looks warmly back on the golden years on Hydra.

http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/marianne2006.html

Many thanks to the producer and reporter Kari Hesthamar who kindly made this possible - and also translated the script of the radio program. This is a MUST to read to all members! And you may also listen to the program (in Norwegian) -- and hear Leonard reading the poem "Days of Kindness" (on the website of NRK - link on the Marianne page).
Last edited by jarkko on Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Henning » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:36 pm

This interview moved me more than I can say. I was also 22 when I met Leonard on Hydra but til today he didn't write a song for me. That's why I am so keen on the upcoming record, because I have never lost hope that he remembers me. Where is that fucking smiley now ---- ah here it is :P
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Post by Kare » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:58 pm

The Norwegian radioprogram: "So long, Marianne" is also produced in SURROUND 5.1
It can be downloaded from the web site http://www.nrk.no/magasin/ulyd/5418814.html
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Post by lizzytysh » Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:41 pm

This interview moved me more than I can say.
I couldn't possibly agree with you more, Henning. For me, heartwrenching. I've read it and am now, for the first time, listening to it. Your singing of "Forever Young" reminds me so much of all the layers of feelings that come up when I read Marianne's words. Bittersweet, tender, poignant, sad, painful, missing, longing, grateful, accepting, trying to accept, loving, celebrating for what once was, still loving, so clearly still loving, a deep kind that never goes away ~ a filter through which I never expected to look at that time in Leonard's and Marianne's life. The sweetness of her voice, her sighs, her laughs, and the catches in her breath, they say so much. Marianne clearly wishes Leonard the best, and always has; yet, the impact of their long-term separation is palpable, with "what could have been, if only... " ~ with her clear desire for "Look at me one last time, Leonard." I can barely write those very simple words, as tears well in my eyes. When she speaks the words of covering him like a baby, oh, Marianne is so emotionally evocative in the way she speaks. Listening to Leonard read his words for her, and her reading them, too ~ oh life, oh life :cry: . The music and Leonard's singing. The crickets. Together, all, so visceral. The joy of life is too short, the pain of it too long. Is your song a dedication to Leonard and Marianne, Henning?

The dovetailing of Leonard's lyrics with Marianne's words is so effective in the written interview, and his singing and music in the recorded one. When I first went to the written interview, I thought, "This is just so exciting"... yet, as I read it, I felt this is so poignant, so sad, somehow, so touching. The love Marianne still feels for Leonard emanates so warmly from out of her words. I can't help but feel an "If only... " thought myself. They were young, and now they're both older. They've both moved on; yet, for Marianne, her heart seems to linger more. It's hard to describe how I feel reading it.


It's clear that with Leonard's memory, the cream rises to the top. If one has limits with memory, why waste it on the poor times, when the lovely and the beautiful can just as well occupy that space. Mine tends to be the same way, so I understand this. Marianne's memory, as Leonard has said, is better. Her stark truthfulness is beyond disarming. I felt a hot kind of pain as I read parts of it. Life. Why can't life be all things for all people?

Was Marianne Leonard's soulmate. As I've read both of their accounts, yes, it seems so. Yet, what about Rebecca? What about Anjani? What about Suzanne? Could Leonard say to any one of them that any one of the others was his true soulmate? What could Leonard say to himself? These aren't questions to be answered by anyone here, or in Leonard's or Marianne's or anyone's households, and would be invasive if they were. Yet, they represent so much of what goes through my mind as I look at photos of Leonard with Anjani, Leonard with Marianne, photos of Suzanne, photos of Leonard's and their children, and read the words of Anjani, Marianne, Leonard. Now, I've gone to the site and have seen for the first time the photo of Marianne with her shopping basket, and at the table with Axel. So beautiful, and unassuming, as Leonard has described... and, as she has said, "always looking down."
For Leonard, to be compared to one's grandmother. What an honour. I will never listen to these songs the same, again. How could anyone listen to this and not want to know they've once, again, met and spent some meaningful time together. Although this could be answered contrarily by some, for me it is rhetorical.

Such an emotional song you've recorded, Henning, with the emotion saturating it. If it's not in honour of Leonard and Marianne, it should be.

Love,
Lizzy

Oh, what a morning :cry: .
Last edited by lizzytysh on Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Nightstalker » Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:15 pm

This is a beautiful interview but very painful to read. I can barely imagine the anguish this beautiful woman felt due to some of the unhappy experiences and I wish solace could heal her. I have lain awake wondering whre a woman who 'loved' me was and only in this way can I even begin to connect with her feelings. Perhaps clinging to one person as a mate is the better way? If this young woman felt so bad during that time of sexual and personal 'freedom" that was the 60s and 70s, then I repent of all that I have said that glorifies that way of life. At least she remembers the good more than the bad. I admire her grace and her positive life that shines through all the mist of misery.

Don't think that I perceive Leonard as a cad for how he treated her. I do not. It was just the way things were during those decades. "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose....."
"For the captain had quitted the long drawn strife
And in far Simoree had taken a wife." (R Kipling)
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Post by MonkOverBook » Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:25 pm

Thanks a lot, Jarkko, for posting the interview. I am moved like all of you are, and I feel very grateful to Marianne for being so strong to speak about herself and Leonard.
Das Wort ist bloß ein Anfang,
bis es auf das Ohr trifft, das es auf-fängt,
und auf den Mund, der ihm ant-wortet.
- Franz Rosenzweig
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Post by lizzytysh » Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:37 pm

Thank you, Jarkko, for bringing this interview to us... and to the producer and reporter Kari Hesthamar for the really instrumental role in that happening... but especially to Marianne, for her allowing us to see her in all of her vulnerability as a young woman, as well as a woman so gracefully growing old, without bitterness, as she looks back on and into her past. She's a very endearing person.

With Leonard's interview, it reminded me of when I was on Hydra and opened the wooden shutters to look out into the morning sunshine over the houses and hillside, and smell and breathe the fresh air. With Marianne's interview, the shutters have been opened, yet a sheer, grey veil still covers the window. It blows aside in the morning breeze, to show the clarity, with the beauty of the sunshine, and for feeling the fresh air and the joy; and then returns for the viewing of the ambivalence, sadness, and 'missing' that continues to surround that time.

I've said it before that, with my former husband being the one who introduced me to Leonard's music and our deep bonding with it and over it, it hurt me more to think of his bonding with another women over Leonard's music than it did to imagine their making love. The reasons for this are many, but not so relevant with what I'm saying. However, to have bonded with Leonard, himself, as well as his music, and then to watch from afar as he bonds with other women, again, including his music, while having to deal with the love you still feel :( . I can hear so much of how Marianne feels... yet, still seems secure enough in herself to let us do that. As she said, she was a gift to Leonard, as well.

Thank you, Marianne.

Love,
Lizzy

Hi MonkOverBook ~ I've just posted this, and now see that whilst you were saying what you did, I was at the same time, expressing the same thing. Our gratitude goes to Marianne.
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Post by ~greg » Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:56 pm

I am very grateful to Marianne, and to the translator, for that.
I have nothing else to say about it right now. Maybe later.
But right now I just felt I had to say that. That I am appreciative.

You've got to love these people. What they've given each other.
And the rest of us.

( http://www.answers.com/Axel%20Jensen%20
- is well worth reading, about Axel Jensen.
I'm much impressed by his friendship with R.D.Laing.
And that one of his last writings was a biography of Gurdjieff.
And that LC was one of those who helped him out when he was dying a few years ago. )


I don't very often feel the need to simply say I'm appreciative.
Which gives me the insight into lizzytysh I was lacking.

Lizzytysh is simply more appreciative of, -of everything,
- than most of us are capable of being. Particularly about things
that don't immediately benefit ourselves. We are mired so deep
in ourselves most of the time that we become like frogs incapable
of paying attention to or giving a damn about flies outside the range
of our tongues.

~glub
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Post by linmag » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:04 pm

I shall never be able to listen to that line 'look at me Leonard, one last time' without thinking of this interview. It had never struck me as so poignant before.

I am very grateful to have heard Marianne's own voice at last, even in translation.
Linda

1972: Leeds, 2008: Manchester, Lyon, London O2, 2009: Wet Weybridge, 2012: Hop Farm/Wembley Arena
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Post by Philwilli » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:46 pm

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Post by lizzytysh » Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:43 pm

That is very interesting info about Axel. The aspect of Leonard~Lena~Axel~Lena~Noel reminds me of the saying, "What goes around comes around." However, I've not heard of Lena in regard to Leonard, and am now wondering who she was... perhaps, just a girlfriend in a far more casual sense.

He supported and promoted the wonderful concept ~ against "the medical machinery" ~ of the right to be cared for at home.

~ Lizzy
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Post by MonkOverBook » Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:49 am

Hi Liz,

thanks for the following:
lizzytysh wrote:With Leonard's interview, it reminded me of when I was on Hydra and opened the wooden shutters to look out into the morning sunshine over the houses and hillside, and smell and breathe the fresh air. With Marianne's interview, the shutters have been opened, yet a sheer, grey veil still covers the window. It blows aside in the morning breeze, to show the clarity, with the beauty of the sunshine, and for feeling the fresh air and the joy; and then returns for the viewing of the ambivalence, sadness, and 'missing' that continues to surround that time.
You've found a fine way to convey your emotions. I guess the veil is always there (and always will be), even if the shutters are opened. Breezes may blow it aside, but it will return as long as we live in the house. And I would doubt that we could stand the brightness all the time...

"The Sun, who brightens us the earth -
if he comes closer, will set the world to fire."
- Rumi

And yet, perhaps the moments of brightness that we remember and believe to have lost, are the windows to a dimension of presence that cannot be lost nor even destroyed by whatever may happen to us. I've been experiencing myself (who has not?) the frustration of being left alone with the love I feel, and with trying in vain to find a way to whom I love - the question, why there was none, remains. But the beams of light that fell on us are here and warm my heart, more than sorrow can hurt it. Let neither veil nor clouds induce us to doubt the sun is there.

"The bat is not an enemy of the Sun,
it is its own foe in that veil."
- Rumi
Das Wort ist bloß ein Anfang,
bis es auf das Ohr trifft, das es auf-fängt,
und auf den Mund, der ihm ant-wortet.
- Franz Rosenzweig
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Post by Dem » Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 pm

If "Kare" who posted the third post from top
on this thread is Kari Hesthamar, the interviewer:

thank you!

Dem
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Post by Kevin W.M.LastYearsMan » Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:32 pm

That was a very personal and informative interview with Marianne. Like Lizzy, and perhaps a few others, I really hadn't ever expected to know anything about her. I didn't even know if she was still alive. It was great to read her account of things rendered in a heartaching kind of way. I was glad that she was dignified and sincere (from my perspective) in telling her memories, and didn't resort to any tabloid-style stories. But, to be honest, I wouldn't expect that Leonard would be attracted to a woman of low-class anyway. So the way she gave the interview was in keeping with the type of woman that I would have guessed would have inspired him.

I always thought, "I tried to leave you" was probably about her too. It is another one that I've always relished. I had that running through my head last night.

That type of interview, of course, leads one to think back on people that you've loved or still may love. You wonder what could have been. You think maybe it should have been. And ultimately you hope that whatever the result was that you haven't damaged the other person too badly. I think that porbably everyone whose ever been in love can relate to the feelings of jealousy that she was describing. It certainly made me think back to my own past. And unfortunately, some situations where I was causing those feelings in women. It made me hope that they didn't feel it as severely as Marianne did. But this is no time for me to repent. :wink:
Those were just couple of things that I was thinking about.

I read the interview with Leonard too. He didn't get into specifics. A class act as always.
I'm trying to imagine the beauty of Hydra, the enchanted life that they were able to enjoy for a while, and end these ramblings with the notion that that's more than most people will ever get.
Kevin
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:50 pm

Hi Kevin ~

Hopefully, one day you'll get to Hydra and see for yourself. To co-opt a popular phrase, "A visit is worth a thousand words."

Yes, with regard to Marianne's feelings of jealousy, it's never quite the humourous 'joke' when a woman plays up with words to the effect of, "I've stolen your man." Without getting into all of the dynamics some women employ, those words typically come with disregard for the feelings of the woman who is the mate and, of course, can have the more ~ but certainly, not well- ~ hidden purpose of letting the man know of her interest in him :( .

I agree with what you've said about Marianne and Leonard.

Demetris ~ Kare/Kari, in the context of that posting, yes ~ it seems you're very likely right!
Thank you so much, Kari, for allowing Marianne the comfort level in your exchanges, for her to be able to come to us as she has ~ at last.

~ Lizzy
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