lunedì 17 ottobre 2016

Una lettera di Leonard Cohen

 «Beh, Marianne, è venuto il momento in cui siamo davvero così vecchi e i nostri corpi sono a pezzi e penso che ti seguirò molto presto. Ecco, io sono così vicino, dietro di te, che se stendi la tua mano, penso che puoi toccare la mia…». Una struggente lettera d’addio del cantautore Leonard Cohen a Marianne Ihlen che Cohen spesso ha definito la sua “musa”. E’ proprio lei ad aver ispirato So long Marianne, pezzo del ’67, fra i più dolci dell’artista candadese ed è morta di leucemia il 29 luglio in Norvegia, all’età di 81 anni.

Well Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road. 

Leonard Cohen e Marianne 
David Remnick

Here and there, Cohen caught glimpses of a beautiful Norwegian woman. Her name was Marianne Ihlen, and she had grown up in the countryside near Oslo. Her grandmother used to tell her, “You are going to meet a man who speaks with a tongue of gold.” She thought she already had: Axel Jensen, a novelist from home, who wrote in the tradition of Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. She had married Jensen, and they had a son, little Axel. Jensen was not a constant husband, however, and, by the time their child was four months old, Jensen was, as Marianne put it, “over the hills again” with another woman.
One spring day, Ihlen was with her infant son in a grocery store and café. “I was standing in the shop with my basket waiting to pick up bottled water and milk,” she recalled decades later, on a Norwegian radio program. “He is standing in the doorway with the sun behind him.” Cohen asked her to join him and his friends outside. He was wearing khaki pants, sneakers, a shirt with rolled sleeves, and a cap. The way Marianne remembered it, he seemed to radiate “enormous compassion for me and my child.” She was taken with him. “I felt it throughout my body,” she said. “A lightness had come over me.”