Skip to main content

A Candle in the Wind, an Acrostic Poem

John is a freelance writer, ghost-writer, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing

My sketch of Marilyn Monroe T shirt design)

My sketch of Marilyn Monroe T shirt design)

A Candle in the Wind

August 4th Nineteen sixty-two

Cancelled the contract of Marilyn Monroe.

American actress, model, singer and more,

Norma Jeane Mortenson as she was born.

Death deemed by suicide, somewhat in question,

Like her life always will be controversial.

Early to marry, yet barely sixteen,

In men's magazines her pics were first seen.

Nobody thought an actress she'd make,

Too shy and insecure, was her teachers' take.

Her determination could not be denied,

Everything that she did just seemed to turn eyes.

White dress blowing up, her most famous pose.

In most eyes a sex-symbol forever known.

Never extinguished her candle burns still,

Death can't erase her exceptional skills.

Author's Note

I was leafing through a few of my old sketches and drawings and came upon this minimalist portrait of Marilyn Monroe's face. I had originally drawn this as one of a few I did, intended as T-shirt designs.

Scroll to Continue

Today I read a couple of articles/poems written by friends of mine with "wind" as the subject or in the title and thought this was an opportunity for me to join in. If you'd like some excellent reading check out:

The Wind of Life - A Poem by Genna East

On the Wings of That Angel by Eric Dierker

Thank you or reading A Candle in the Wind and of course I have to close with the musical tribute to Norma Jeane by Elton John.

© 2019 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 13, 2019:

Thank you Denise. I appreciate the comment on the drawing and the poem, and I will check Society6 and Redbubble. Cheers.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 13, 2019:

That is an awesome minimalist drawing. You should definitely look into submitting it for T-shirts. She is still just as popular as ever, you know. Try loading it on Society 6 or Redbubble and see if anyone is interested. That way you don't have to pay for printing or shipping and you get immediate royalties. Lovely poem.



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 31, 2019:

Glad you learned something new from this Devika.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 29, 2019:

You always surprise me with something new. I learned of an actress.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 15, 2019:

Cheers, Lawrence. Much appreciated.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on June 14, 2019:


Really enjoyed the acrostic.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 21, 2019:

Thanks for reading this Brenda. Glad I provided you with some new information that you were not aware of regarding MM. yes, it shows if you follow your dreams, and don’t give up, they can come true.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 21, 2019:

Thank you Jodah for another interesting piece. I did not know her real name. This is very informative. Nobidy thought an actress she'd make...goes to show us all to not give up on our dreams.

Great read.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 20, 2019:

Thank you Kamkar, yes she was beautiful. Thank you for the kind comment.

Kamkar sanjukta on May 20, 2019:

Beautiful poetry for a beautiful actress with an beautiful sketch

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 19, 2019:

Wow buddy what a trip. I s'pose my elder will call it sanctimonous and harsh. But if I can get that across in a simple sketch I kicked butt.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2019:

Yes Eric, do it anyway. You are experimenting with poetry, why not sketching as well.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 19, 2019:

What the Heck!! I am sketching. Is it OK to do it on a legal pad? It is so fun to grow together and yet have such great teachers who can lead.

"Eric do not waste your brain". Thanks God and Dad.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2019:

Thanks for the great comment Chis. I’m sure your sketching isn’t as bad as you make out, but even if it is we can’t be good at everything and you excel in other areas like your short fiction etc. I was around the same age as you when MM died.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on May 19, 2019:

John, I like the sketch and the poem. Great job. I will not be following your lead by posting a sketch of mine. First, because I don't have any. Second, because it would look like a two-year-old had gotten ahold of a box of crayons. That is certainly not the case with your sketch.

Unlike Paula, I am not quite old enough to remember MM. She died when I was five years old. I have a lot of admiration for someone who can rise up and make a mark on the world. She did it in a beautiful way.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2019:

Genna, thank you for the lovely comment in regard to the sketch and poem. You are most welcome in regard to the mention and link to your article. I am sure Eric would be most happy for you to visit his article as well. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2019:

Bill, I value all comments but one's like yours, sharing your own story or history, I love. I actually think 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' was the first of MM's movies that I viewed too. I can't remember how old I was but it would have been on TV. I lived in a small town and when the picture theatre opened my mother got a job in the box office selling the tickets. I think I was about 11 and the first two movies I watched there were Sound of Music with Julie Andrews and The Age of Consent starring a teenage Helen Mirren. I loved Julie Andrew's voice, but loved everything about Helen Mirren lol.

Anyway, I also watched most of MM's movies over time and even though she was in her heyday when I was born, that didn't stop me falling for her too. We must have similar taste, as I adored Annette Funicello in the Mickey Mouse Club and later in the Beach movies with Frankie Avalon. This really ages me..I remember a guest performer in many of those movies introduced as "Little Stevie Wonder."

Anyway, thanks for you interesting and generous comment.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on May 18, 2019:

Hi John...

My goodness, thank you for the mention and the link. And I will definitely check out On the Wings of that Angel.

Your sketch is simply stunning. You captured her features and famous wink, perfectly. Your wonderful poetry and Elton's lyrics portrayed her so well. Beautifully done. :-)

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on May 18, 2019:

I was ten years old when Gentlemen Prefer Blondes arrived at the Cabot Cinema in my hometown I paid my 15 cents admission to the matinee and saw two cartoons, a news-reel, and a Hopalong Cassidy plus some forgettable B movie. I don't remember how I got to see Marilyn in the evening film. Maybe I sat through the two afternoon showings and hid in the balcony until she came on. Maybe I didn't even see her and I just think I did. Either way she ruined me for all other women. This didn't go over too well in a household of Italian immigrants where all the women were dark and sultry like Sophia Loren. Three years later Annette Funicello joined the Mickey Mouse Club. So in 1956, I dumped Marilyn and fell for Annette. She was more my age and much acceptable to my paisan family since she also was a member of the E-I-E-I-Os (that large group with last names like Amare, Ricci, Gallante, Russo, Marciano, and sometimes Santa Maria. I even offically proposed to Annette, by sending her a letter of my intentions care of the Mickey Mouse Club. Her favorable response must have gotten lost in the mail, because I failed to receive it. Don't rat me out, but the truth is I two timed Annette still carried the torch for the blonde. To her credit and I'd like to say, to my suggestion she dumped the writer and did marry a paisan. It was not me but it was a member of my clan, the E-I-E-I-Os and sometimes A. I thought John you might enjoy a little of my history rather the customary telling you how much I enjoyed your work. Truth is John, this combination of the drawn and written art might rank among your finest. A couple comedians from my home town area (Bob and Ray from Boston) used to sign off their radio gigs by saying "Write if you get work!" To you my friend in ink I'd paraphrase them by saying "To Write is to get your brain working!" John, you are on Overtime!

Suzie from Carson City on May 18, 2019:

J........MM was actually a true genius. Thus her incredible ability to ACT like a "dumb blonde!" She was a multi-faceted woman and earned her Title as the most famous actress in history.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2019:

Paula, sounds like you were a true fan, especially having a collection of numerous photos. I am glad you like the poem and the sketch. As you know from studying her life she was much more than outward appearances and far from just a dizzy peroxide blonde.

Suzie from Carson City on May 18, 2019:

Jodah.....I recall as a young girl, I thought MM was the Be-all and End-All of beauty. I was a fan before old enough to understand her "actual" appeal. As an adult, my fascination became a more serious interest in learning all I could about this Celebrity ICON,

This poem is wonderful.. I love it. As I read it, I happen to be sitting across from my collection of numerous photos of the Marvelous Ms. M.

The sketch is amazing. What a talented guy you are! Paula

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 17, 2019:

Hey Shauna. Thank you, I toyed with doing commercial art as a career once but there are too many good artists out there, and then it became digital. As for MM, what an nteresting subject to sketch or write about. Glad I managed to provide a very brief biography with my acrostic poem.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 17, 2019:

John, your acrostic poem offers a brief biography of Marilyn Monroe beautifully. And your "sketch" - wow! You really should do more with your artistic skills. You're very, very talented!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 17, 2019:

Hello Chitrangada. Acrostic poetry is challenging but I do enjoy writing it from time to time. You should experiment with it too. Thanks for the kind comment.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 17, 2019:

A wonderful poem and a lovely tribute to the legendary and beautiful actress.

I didn’t know about your sketching skills—It’s excellent indeed.

Thanks for introducing me to a new style of poem—acrostic.

Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 17, 2019:

Thank you Hari, much appreciated.

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on May 16, 2019:

John, thats a great tribute to a symbolic personality.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Thank you MizB. She did fight against being cast as a dumb blonde in comedies but her contract with the movie studio (20thCentury Fox) I think stated she had to do that type of movie. They felt she wouldn’t succeed at anything else. She won critical acclaim for a serious role in Bus Stop and started her own film production company where she made three dramas.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 16, 2019:

Your poem expresses a lot of what the world felt when she died. Her death was tragic and shocking. Some try to connect it to a certain president rather than suicide, but she really was a troubled soul. I never thought she was beautiful (just pretty), nor did I think she could act or sing worth a hoot, but there was something about her that I admired. I still remember the day the news on the car radio said she had died. A part of my childhood was gone.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Hello Pamela. Thank you for reading this and your lovely comment. Yes, Marilyn certainly led a troubled life but she dealt with it well until the last couple of years.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 16, 2019:

I enjoyed your poetry, and I remember well the tragic death of a young, beautiful star. She was surely a troubled woman with several marriages and affairs. I have wondered about her death before, but I guess we will never know for sure. A sad tale for sure, but you poetry was perfect.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Ruby, with comments like that you are always welcome to visit my poetry lol. Yes, MM was troubled, as was her mother even though it seems she tried her best. MM did well to become as successful as she was. Well, one of the Kennedys in particular found her appealing lol. I was surprised to read she even had an affair once with Yul Brynner.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 16, 2019:

John you captured her lips perfectly in your sketch. Your poetry is beautiful. MM was a troubled soul just like her mother. I have never tried to write an acrostic poem, but I might try. Back to MM, she was never a favorite of mine, but she was beautiful. I think the Kennedy's thought so too. Well done!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Hi Kaili, thanks for the nice comment. Much appreciated. The t-shirt idea was quite a few years ago but I did print up a couple at the time. Maybe I will have to think about doing it again. I’ll let you know if I do.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Your words humble me Linda.

I have always loved drawing, and like to try my hand at an acrostic poem from time to time. Acrostics are a good challenge but the constraint they present by having to start each line with a certain letter actually provides me with more of a guideline to work to.

The Misfits may have been well named and the shooting was far from smooth. Marilyn did well to actually finish that movie as she had health problems as well as not getting on well with some of the other actors. It originally flopped at the box office, but both the movie and MM received acclaim later.

Kaili Bisson from Canada on May 16, 2019:

Hello John,

I love your sketch! You really captured her beauty. And the poem is so well done. Bravo my friend! And, please go ahead with the T-shirts...I would love one of these :-)

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 16, 2019:

John you are so very talented. An acrostic poem is probably the most difficult to do (well); you nailed it. And that sketch is amazing. You continue to surprise and awe me. MM was such a tragic figure. Her last film (The Misfits) was filled with despair, not just the plot but the people involved in the production.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Thanks Flourish. As you would have learnt in your course in Women’s Studies, Marilyn had so much more depth to her than many saw. She had a high IQ even though not a high standard of education and she really strived to study and become the best actress she possibly could, actually wanting serious dramatic roles but often stifled by her contractural obligations to play the blonde bimbo type roles.

Fortunately, she did prove her superb acting talents eventually and received acclaim. Hers was ultimately a sad and tragic story however, like many in show business.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 16, 2019:

I like both your sketch and poem. I had a terrific course in college in Women’s Studies that looked at images of women, including the Marilyn mystique. We covered some of her movies as well as biographical information on her. Such a sad story.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Thank you Mary. You humble me.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 16, 2019:

You're such an artist. The sketch is amazing. What a tribute to MM.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Glad the sketch impressed you Dana. Thanks for the kind words, and yes she certainly was feminine and sexy.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Thank you for that compliment PoetikalyAnointed, Much appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

I have to agree with you MsDora. I seem to find myself thinking in poetry. Thank you, and glad you enjoyed this poem.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on May 16, 2019:

That sketch!! Wow!

John-- you are extremely talented. You have many talents. loved the tribute. MS. Monroe, defined sexy and femininity.

PoetikalyAnointed on May 16, 2019:

Beautiful Poem and Sketch, John. You nailed that sketch...

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 16, 2019:

John, everything extracts poetry from you because that's what's inside you. What a beautiful way to tell this tale!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Eric, so glad you found that link helpful. Anytime my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Yes Bill, the same with me. Thanks for reading.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 16, 2019:

John I am so glad I asked. WOW!! How cool is that?! Alright I will sit outside today with eyes closed and let my mind work on this great notion of word use.

Thanks a million times.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 16, 2019:

Timeless sex symbol. She will always be a fantasy to my younger self. :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Hey Eric thanks for checking this out and for your comment on my sketch. For examples of different poetry styles check:

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 16, 2019:

John that sketch is a blow away crazy good. I always enjoyed the song twist of "burned" instead blown out. I still have no ideas why that has held my attention for years.

Beauty in your words.

OK, can you point me where to learn more about this style of poetry? I just read Acrostic.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

That’s ok, can’t al to very early. Thanks though Clive.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on May 16, 2019:

Not a big fan but nice memoir.

manatita44 from london on May 16, 2019:

Beautiful sketch! You are very good Bro.

I love your acrostic. Elton John is a master at 'passing' songs. Strange thing to be good at. Lol. Actually, he has such a soothing voice so no surprise there. He did one for Princess Diana.

Marilyn is an icon known to billions! Not bad. Sorry that life sometimes takes these mysterious twists. You did a great job of showing her allure.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Good to see you Ann. I greatly appreciate your comment. Glad you enjoyed this.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Hi Nithya, thank you for reading and for the generous comment on the poem and drawing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 16, 2019:

Than you Liz. Yes, Elton John's tribute adaption for Princess Diana will always be remembered.

Ann Carr from SW England on May 16, 2019:

Great sketch! Great poem!

I always enjoy your poetry, John, and this is a great tribute.


Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 16, 2019:

A beautiful acrostic poem about Marylin Monroe. The sketch is lovely and would make a fantastic T-Shirt design.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 16, 2019:

Excellent acrostic. I also still remember the moving adaptation Elton John sang at Princess Diana's funeral.

Related Articles