The Death of Marilyn Monroe Poem by Sharon Olds

The Death of Marilyn Monroe

Rating: 4.3

The ambulance men touched her cold
body, lifted it, heavy as iron,
onto the stretcher, tried to close the
mouth, closed the eyes, tied the
arms to the sides, moved a caught
strand of hair, as if it mattered,
saw the shape of her breasts, flattened by
gravity, under the sheet
carried her, as if it were she,
down the steps.

These men were never the same. They went out
afterwards, as they always did,
for a drink or two, but they could not meet
each other's eyes.

Their lives took
a turn-one had nightmares, strange
pains, impotence, depression. One did not
like his work, his wife looked
different, his kids. Even death
seemed different to him-a place where she
would be waiting,

and one found himself standing at night
in the doorway to a room of sleep, listening to a
woman breathing, just an ordinary

Paul Akinrinde 15 March 2016

Reminds one - regardless of the status decreetal - the nothingness of being. The kites of essence, and its tailings of gravity and The Olympus Being, waiting at the anteroom of Man.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 25 November 2018

Since this is no ordinary death, it would become a NIGHTMARE for those who had touched her. The Great Sinner died too, if I ain't wrong, soon after her innocent death. A thought-provoking poem full of Brilliance. Thank you so much for sharing, Mrs. Olds.

1 4 Reply

Their lives took a turn-one had nightmares, strange pains, impotence, depressio. Its a sort of emotional numbness felt by people dealing with dead bodies. Thank you

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Ratnakar Mandlik 23 April 2019

Fantastic aftermath about the mental state of attendants who carried the bead body of Marilyn Monroe has been brilliantly portrayed in this well deserved modern poem of the Day.

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Mahtab Bangalee 24 April 2019

o greatly penned- Even death seemed different to him-a place where she would be waiting, .../// superb poem

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Bharati Nayak 05 August 2022

A superb poem well deserving as the Modern Poem of the Day.Hearty Congratulations.

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Bharati Nayak 05 August 2022

A soul stirring poem! It was so different experience who handled the deadbody of Merilyn Monroe.She was famous as an actress and also for her beauty.But after death, the dead body was like many others.It was no different. Death is the great equaliser..

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Richard Wlodarski 04 August 2022

Such a powerful poem about the trauma that some have to face every day due to the nature of their work. Very deserving of POD! Congratulations, Sharon!

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Sylvia Frances Chan 24 April 2020

CONGRATULATIONS being chosen by Pioem Hunter as The Modern Poem Of The Day. Hooray! ! Last year same date 23 April 2019. I have read manby poems of the great poetess and my conclusion remains the same: Poetess Sharon Olds IS true sublimest and I love the structure of her words, crystal clear. Excellent way of creating poems

1 1 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 24 April 2020

Before I write down a comment about the great poetess Sharon Olds, she IS a great North American Poetess. I will cite here a comment of Author Michael Ondaatje says of her work " Sharon Olds's poems are pure fire in the hands, risky, on the verge of falling, and in the end leaping up. I love the roughness and humor and brag and tenderness and completion in her work as she carries the reader through rooms of passion and loss. Exactly!

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