Saint Julian Press Poet
Ron Starbuck - Author and Poet
Sandburg & Monroe - The Visit 1961
Photograph by Len Steckler used with permission from Len Steckler Photography
Photographer Len Steckler / Arnold Newman shot many black-and-white images of Monroe when she unexpectedly arrived at his apartment in December, 1961, to visit his friend, Pulitzer-prize winning poet Carl Sandburg. Len Steckler Photography is offering several for a sale as a limited edition series called "Marilyn Monroe: The Visit." Use of the photograph above has been granted by them and the Len Steckler family. To see and learn more about the photographic art and artistry of Len Steckler please go to the Len Steckler Photography web site below.
Len Steckler Photography
To learn more about the work of Arnold Newman, please go to the Arnold Newman Archive site where you may find many links related to his life's work.
The Visit 1961 - Video Link by Marilyn Monroe Official Channel: http://youtu.be/jiJWByhwU-Q
Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe
Sandburg & Monroe - The Visit 1961
The photographs nearly say it all
you know, what can another poet
add to these moments of
intense intimacy between
two spirits, two hearts. The wise old poet,
filled full with his life, with his memories.
With his words, and songs that
stopped a nation dead in its tracks
more times than I can count now.
Who was more than a country’s conscience,
who could turn a phrase, a verse
and help us to see the
pain, and beauty, and joy
within life clearly.
Who lifted a nation up on his own
big, broad shoulders, and told us,
we were better than this, or better than that,
better than we thought at least, or ought to be.
A world of dreamers, and the builder
of such dreams, undreamt of in our imaginations,
breathing in fully the smoke and opiates’ of a whole
lot of dreamers, who keep daring to dream.
And then there is Marilyn or Norma Jean,
an icon to the mid-twentieth century,
wrapped up in soft, innocent sexuality, and vulnerability.
There's not a man dead or alive today
who can resist her haunting beautiful looks.
Our desire, you see, runs full force with her, but
with a tenderness and compassion, we feel for any child,
who has fallen and scuffed their knee.
She, in the enigma that was uniquely her, fell many
times, a riddle to more than one man.
Still, when you look closer, delve
deeper, there is something more
there than sorrow and misuse. A searching
intelligence, a poem perhaps, waiting
at the edge of her soul, suspended at tongue tip,
a voice she never discovered to speak with clearly.
I wish we could give her that writer’s voice
now, to let it converse in all its elegance.
Sandburg saw it, he saw her (Monroe) more clearly
in this moment than all the
movie directors and producers who ill-used her,
counting up coins in their film editing rooms.
He saw, I think, another poet begging to be born,
a new voice waiting in discreet misery to breakout.
Someday soon, we must ask ourselves, more than once
I think, about the high price we place, or don’t, on great art.
Whatever answer you give, she paid it
tenfold and more I believe,
and we, we are the poorer, the losers who never
heard her truest voice.
Sandburg knew what this day meant to her, she became
more alive in his gentle and reassuring presence,
than any film might have captured. And Marilyn,
I believe, found some peace and joy then too.
In the simple act of living, of being herself with other people,
which it seems she rarely found in her short life.
Wherever they are in this world today, together perhaps
in another life, and another time.
I hope they are holding one another with the same
tenderness and intensity seen here, in an old photograph
that captures their spirits once more. At least, that is what
I would wish, imagine for them both.
Two souls, bound together within time and outside of time,
in a timeless moment held beyond eternity.
Sandburg & Monroe is from the poetry collection - When Angels Are Born