Days of KindnessGreece is a good placeTo look at the moon, isn’t itYou can read by moonlightYou can read on the terraceYou can see a faceAs you saw it when you were youngThere was good light thenOil lamps and candlesAnd those little flamesThat floated on a cork in olive oilWhat I loved in my old lifeI haven’t forgottenIt lives in my spineMarianne and the childThe days of kindnessIt rises in my spineAnd it manifests as tearsI pray that a loving memoryExists for them tooThe precious ones I overthrewFor an education in the world Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Hydra, 1985 “It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away. We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.” With this brief statement, Leonard Cohen’s official page presented to the songwriter’s fans the news they never wanted to hear. Especially since, for the past few weeks, the news were those of celebration, as Cohen had just released another critically acclaimed album, “You want it darker”. It has been the latest in a series of albums that signalled a triumphant return to form for the legendary poet-turned songwriter, one of the most influentials of the past 50 years. For a significant part of this fruitful career, Cohen was a Greek resident; On September 27, 1960, six days after his twenty-sixth birthday, the poet bought a house in Hydra for $1500, using a bequest from his recently deceased grandmother. “It has a huge terrace with a view of dramatic mountain and shining white houses”, he described it in the letter to his mother. “The rooms are large and cool with deep windows set in thick walls. I suppose it’s about 200 years old and many generations of sea-.men must have lived here. I will do a little work on it every year and in a few years it will be a mansion… I live on a hill and life has been going on here exactly the same for hundreds of years. All through the day you hear the calls of the street vendors and they are really rather musical… I get up around 7 generally and work till about noon. Early morning is coolest and therefore best, but I love the heat anyhow, especially when the Aegean Sea is 10 minutes from my door”. Hydra, at the time, was a haven for international artists, and Cohen fit in perfectly among them, and got along perfectly with the locals, embracing the Greek way of life and leisurly pace. It was there that he met Marianne Ilhen, starting what is now seen as one of the greatest love stories of its era, immortalized in songs like “So long, Marianne”. It was there that he wrote “Bird on a Wire”. It was there that he kept returning from time to time. It was there that he cemented a loving relationship with Greece and the Greek people, who still consider him as one of their own – and will mourn him as such.