Marilyn Monroe: Poems

30 November 2013

Marilyn Monroe: Poems: released on 30 November 2013.

Lyn Lifshin has written an astonishing portrait of the real Marilyn Monroe, inside the icon. These poems imagine Norma Jean Baker’s inner thoughts about Hollywood, love, her work, her memories, her hopes, and the sorrows that eventually led to her overdose from sleeping pills in 1962. Lifshin gives us Marilyn the toy, Marilyn the mother, and Marilyn the survivor, in a remarkable tour de force.

This book was originally published in 1994 by Quiet Lion Press.

 

Poems from the book available online:

 

Lifshin on Marilyn Monroe: Poems:

If I have nothing, or very little on the subject, it’s like a starter’s gun go get me going. You could say I get carried away, obsessive and excessive! I love the feeling of being lost in something I never planned to write or think about. I love “assignments,” suggestions that take me on a road I’ve never been on. A forthcoming collection of Barbie poems and my book MARILYN MONROE came from wanting to write something for the Mondo books Rick Peabody was editing. I had just begun to spend time in DC, felt isolated, alone and I wanted to write some Marilyn Monroe poems for the collection. I thought of Marilyn feeling the same way, wandered through museums imagining her at the same exhibits, in the same galleries, penthouses, subways.

—Lyn Lifshin, “An Interview With Lyn Lifshin
by Nathan Leslie
,” Word Riot, 2011

 

Critical Praise for Lyn Lifshin:

Here she is! Might as well stop fighting it. Lifshin is not going to go away. For men, she’s sexy. For women she’s an archetype of gutsy independence. As a poet, she’s nobody but herself. Frightening prolific and utterly intense. One of a kind.

San Francisco Review of Books

Few poets can permeate the heart of things as Lyn Lifshin does.

—Alice Pero, review of All the Poets Who Have Touched Me

In the decades I’ve read Lifshin poems she is invariably interesting. Like dancing, the poems in this book are on the move in a variation of emotions usually with lovers, ex-lovers, or would be lovers. The speaker moves through the narrative with clarity and is utterly convincing in Lifshin’s unique idiom. There’s a breathing humanity in these poems, which future generations can read to feel the grit and grace of feminine life in our era.

—William Page, review of Ballroom

Entry filed under: Poetry. Tags: .

I also write aided by many cups of tea. I’m fairly certain thirtysomething men living in Brooklyn are issued Bukowski and Carver books by the State Department. And I fall in line.


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