The Poetry of Marilyn Monroe

A draft of one of Marilyn Monroe’s poems, in her own hand.

By Lara Gabrielle Fowler

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.

Thanks for reading.

Life – 
I am of both your directions 
Existing more with the cold frost 
Strong as a cobweb in the wind 
Hanging downward the most 
Somehow remaining 
Those beaded rays have the colors 
I’ve seen in paintings – ah life 
they have cheated you… 
thinner than a cobweb’s thread 
sheerer than any 
but it did attach itself 
and held fast in strong winds 
and singed by leaping hot fires 
life – of which at singular times 
I am of both your directions – 
somehow I remain hanging downward 
the most 
as both of your directions pull me. 

Entitled “Life is wonderful, so what the hell.”

I left my home of green rough wood, 
A blue velvet couch. 
I dream till now 
A shiny dark bush 
Just left of the door. 
Down the walk 
Clickity clack 
As my doll in her carriage 
Went over the cracks- 
“We’ll go far away.” 
Don’t cry my doll 
Don’t cry 
I hold you and rock you to sleep 
Hush hush I’m pretending now 
I’m not your mother who died. 
Help Help 
Help I feel life coming closer 
When all I want is to die 
– Marilyn Monroe – 

Entitled “Lonely.”

O, Time 
Be kind. 
Help this weary being 
To forget what is sad to remember. 
Loose my loneliness, 
Ease my mind, 
While you eat my flesh. 
– Marilyn Monroe – 
To the weeping Willow 
I stood beneath your limbs 
and you flowered and finally clung to me 
and when the wind struck with … the earth 
and sand- you clung to me. 
– Marilyn Monroe –


3 responses to “The Poetry of Marilyn Monroe

  1. marilyn monroe is mad gorgeous! I just love her quotes so much, she just knows how to be so real..

  2. Sara Beth Draper-Wessels

    I am going to write this and frame it. It hit me right away. She meant it. Sh
    e was right;we are all really alone. And, therefore we should seek each others lonely sole.

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