Friday, March 19, 2010
Tea and Oranges That Come All The Way From China
Leonard Cohen...just the name reminds me of introspective and thoughtful happy times when I was in high school. Three of the very smartest girls in my class in 1967 shared a poetry book with me that they had found at a rare bookstore downtown. I'll never forget that peek into poetry and prose that changed my interest. Leonard Cohen's poetry spoke to me on that day. I didn't want to give the book up. I still don't own that book...but I will. The book must have been well loved because I remember the smooth rubbed edges. I copied all the poems that had meaning for me in calligraphy on art paper with ink during study hall. And how excited was I when he came out with my favorite poem "Suzanne" into song. The first time I heard it on the radio it was one of those moments when I thought he must have been singing that song for me. It is my very favorite..the visualization I get from those lyrics are as vivid today as they were the day I first heard the song. His poetry so spoke of the time period. Suzanne was a real person~ he "drank her in" as she states, so carefully that he captured her very essence and conveyed her intimate spirit into poetry. The song is now bittersweet to her because they are no longer close..which is what so often happens when fame invades relationships. Marvelous. Many, many people love Leonard Cohen and consider him the great poet of our time. I have received as gifts DVDs and CDs from my son and artist friend Lee within the past 3 months. Great gifts. I have met some people on You Tube who have actually known the real "Suzanne" that he wrote about. One person wrote that this song haunts yet comforts them. The most wonderful rendition is the one with Leonard and Judy Collins in duet. Perfect complementary voices. I have found a wonderful interview with Suzanne Verdal from the BBC. She was a dance instructor and massage therapist and she lives in a small gypsy cabin built on the back of a truck with her 7 cats. I am enclosing the link for you to enjoy.