Autograph letter signed (“Leonard”) to Marianne Ihlen ("Hello my darling"), [postmarked Montreal] 14 December 1960.

One page, 250 x 190mm, crayon on aerogram (a little loss at margins).

Telling in its informality and confident scrawl, Cohen writes from Montreal with the express purpose of letting Marianne know he misses her. “Hello my darling, What can I say? I miss you. I miss Barnet. I miss the sun. You don’t know how close I am to renting a house in south of Spain and asking you to say the winter with me. I’d have to be back in Canada around March. Just an idea. What do you think?” Cohen had worked out that he could support life in Hydra by periodically returning to Montreal for a couple months to replenish his bank account.

Barnet is Marianne’s young son, Axel, who is referred to as Barnet during this period. Cohen would later reflect on the nourishing stability of life with Marianne: "There was a woman, she had a child, there were meals on the table, order in the upkeep of the house and harmony. It was the perfect moment to start to do some serious work" (qtd in Nadel, p.83). Indeed, Marianne's nurturing presence sustained him and in it he found spiritual order. During their time together he would revise his first novel The Favorite Game; write and revise his second novel, Beautiful Losers; write his third book of poetry, Flowers for Hitler, which he would dedicate to her; and embark on his career as a singer-songwriter, beginning with Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967 and followed by Songs from a Room in 1969.

By descent from Marianne Ihlen.
Brought to you by
More from
Write Me and Tell Me Your Heart: Leonard Cohen's Letters to Marianne
Place your bid Condition report

A Christie's specialist may contact you to discuss this lot or to notify you if the condition changes prior to the sale.

I confirm that I have read this Important Notice regarding Condition Reports and agree to its terms. View Condition Report