Marilyn Monroe Poetry and Images of an Icon
August 5, 2013 marks 51 years since the death of Marilyn Monroe. Though I try to keep Marilyn to a minimum on this blog because of her overwhelming overexposure in the media, the fact remains that Marilyn may well be the most fascinating personality to come out of classic film. The appeal that she holds for the public is evident–it is difficult to walk into any gift shop without seeing her face plastered on posters, shirts, lunchboxes, wallets, purses, and mugs. She has become a sex icon for the ages, and more than any other star, she sells. But amid all the financial gain she brings to businesses Marilyn Monroe continues to be exploited, just as she was in life, robbed of her essence and dignity as a human being for the sake of profits. That is precisely what she was trying to get away from, and thus whenever I see Marilyn memorabilia in a gift store, I feel a twinge of sadness.
Whenever I do mention Marilyn on this blog (which is usually on her birthday and the anniversary of her death), I try to make it count. She was a fascinating human being, the complete antithesis to how the public perceived her. An introspective, observant, intelligent woman who read voraciously and was unusually articulate about herself and her craft, the blonde bombshell image crafted for her only served to exacerbate her inner conflicts and demons.
A talented writer and frequent poet, Marilyn often turned to writing as therapy in a life that overwhelmed her. Today, on the anniversary of her death, I will not pay tribute with the pictures and videos that defined her public life, but instead what defined HER, the woman who deserved so much more than what the cards dealt her.
I have selected what I consider to be some of her most expressive poetry, and I give it to you now in hopes that you will get an inner glimpse of the woman behind the face. Interspersed are drawings that Marilyn sketched during a stay on Fire Island in 1955.