Monday, December 26, 2011

Stern Shoots Marilyn (Poem)

Stern Shoots Marilyn

The bad boys all think
        they know her type,

want to be sure she gets
        their number. Who can

blame them? Every shot
        of her leaves them wanting

what the picture-taker made
        his own in just three days

of close-ups the six weeks
        before she died. He caught

her before the glitter rubbed
        off, got intimate in a way

that never did convey what
        the camera couldn't see

and wouldn't produce once
        the focus blurred. The last

sitting had nothing to do
        with how diamonds reflect

what a lover's worth. His
        romance was turning her

into tones and planes, his own
        living doll on the printed page.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem is my response to today's photo prompt at Magpie Tales. The image is titled "Diamonds" and is from Bert Stern's Marilyn Monroe Collection, "The Last Sitting", comprising more than 2,000 images shot over three days in 1962, six weeks before Monroe's death. The poem's last couplet borrows a bit from this quotation by Stern: "I was preparing for Marilyn's arrival like a lover, and yet I was here to take photographs. Not to take her in my arms, but to turn her into tones, and planes, and shapes, and ultimately an image for the printed page."

The photograph and others by Stern (b. 1929) can be seen here and at Magpie Tales, as well as at many other fine art photography sites displaying Stern's work. Stern published a selection of his photographs in 1992 in Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting. In 2008, Stern shot actress Lindsay Lohan as Monroe in "The Last Sitting". (See a New York magazine article about that here.)

Write your own poem or flash fiction response to the prompt, using the image provided, then go here to add your own link and to read the other participants' contributions.


Unknown said...

quite a dig.
arts are tricky at times.

Berowne said...

Very true. Stern made a semi-career out of M M pix...

S. Etole said...

This certainly kept my attention!

Mimi Foxmorton said...

So much glitter..........

Nice take on this....and oh, so true.........

Kathe W. said...

such a sad life

Anonymous said...

Beautifully done, Mo.

Intelliblog said...

Lovely poem and only too true. Poor Marilyn...

Jodi Aman said...

I have always been intrigued by Marilyn Monroe.

Semaphore said...

Marilyn is such an intriguing subject, and what I like here is how you've gone beyond the images in the photograph, to biographies, interviews and more, to distill more meaning. It expanded my view, and made me look up more about the relationship between the actress and the photographer.

Everyday Goddess said...

I like the vantage point you've chosen! Very well done.

Helen said...

Love, love how you brought Mr. Stern into your Magpie! Nice.

Anonymous said...

sitting and reflecting no how diamonds have nothing to do :)