For decades ardent fans of Marilyn Monroe, old and young, have wanted to read her personal writings since Marilyn spoke so highly of her love for reading and writing. A few of her poems, although questionable in their authenticity, floated around the internet and in small publishing presses without an official source. Until now.
With the book “Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes and Letters” By Marilyn Monroe, edited by Bernard Comment and narrated by Stanley Buchthal, we have the chance to read the actress’s words and see the original item from which they were written on. All the items receive a special translation of Marilyn’s words that sometimes seem illegible but none the less fascinating.
The content itself is extraordinary and a must-have for Marilyn and classic film fans. The writings reveal an intimate and layered human being who looked at the world through a poetic veil, always curious but brutally honest about how she saw it.
Because of copyright laws, I cannot reprint the text found in the book since I do not have the permission. However, the range of the items are unforgettable. There are the friendly and gracious letters the actress sent to the Strasberg’s during the time she stayed in New York to attend the Actor’s Studio. There are Marilyn’s grocery lists and some of the recipes she may have used. One of the pages feature a charming skeletal drawing the actress once drew. Her poems featured in the book, often shown written on hotel paper, gravitate towards the feelings of sympathy for her fragile psyche and empathy towards the thoughts she was able to communicate. The book seems to reveal the other side of Marilyn
that she kept most private. Perhaps it could be speculated that it may have been only through the intimate act of writing that she was able to reveal her true self. As a final touch, the book is carefully arranged around beautiful black and white photos of Marilyn, some as the “sex symbol” but some that evoke Norma Jean.
As Marilyn’s third husband and famous playwright Arthur Miller once said about his wife, “To have survived she would have had to be either more cynical or even further from reality than she was. Instead, she was a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes.”
*This review was not endorsed in any way. I wrote this review based on the library copy I borrows of this book.*