Andy, Marilyn, and Me

Hi everyone,

I read recently that an ANDY WARHOL painting of MARILYN MONROE, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” is slated to go up for auction this May and fetch around $200 million. That brought back memories in a hurry.

JAN GREENBURG published an art/poetry book in 2001. It was a collection of poems and the famous paintings they inspired. I wrote a poem for it based on an Andy Warhol diptych called Cow Wallpaper. I reasoned that only one of the cows in the picture was the original model so therefore all the others were fakes. I called the poem “It’s Me.”

At the last minute Jan learned that she couldn’t obtain rights to that painting, but she could get them for a Marilyn Monroe diptych so she asked me if that might work with my poem. I liked my adaptation better than the original. Monroe was often described as a woman who could be conflicted, maybe not always certain about who she was or had become. My poem fit her on a different level than it did the cows.

The poem was published in HEART TO HEART and drew some attention. The book itself won a lot of accolades. It’s a beautiful anthology.

Later my poem was picked up and reprinted in a book called ART AND ARTISTS POEMS, published by Alfred A. Knopf and filled with work by poets past and present worldwide.

The reason the upcoming auction of Marilyn caught my attention is that this painting of her was one of the ones in the diptych I used for my cow-to-Marilyn poem in 2001.