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Marilyn Monroe letter to poet/playwright Norman Rosten, 1955

In the crossed-out, halting, part calligraphy, part scribbled letter above, Marilyn Monroe—born Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles —vents her soul. She thanks poet/playwright Norman Rosten for his book of poems. She regrets the boy or girl she never bore. She confesses that the poetry she wrote from time to time sprang from her pervasive depression. This was an intimate letter.  
A famously troubled seeker in life, Marilyn and her artifacts begat a relics industry following her death from an overdose of barbiturates (August 5, 1962). Movies where she passes in a crowd inside a shadow recirculate on DVD as Marilyn Monroe classics. Books Marilyn supposedly read reappear in new editions. Her face lives on...on T-shirts.  
Assessed from the desk of a studio accountant, a star is "property." From every letter of a star's name hangs a price tag.  

On December 18 2012, an auctioneer in southern California sold Marilyn's note to Norman Rosten (above) for $30,000.  
In 2010, diagnostic x-rays made of Marilyn's chest in 1954 sold for $45,000.  
In 1996, the widow of Monroe's mentor at The Actors' Studio, Anna Strasberg, sold control of Monroe's estate to a firm that manages estates of dead celebrities. Selling celebrity rights netted Strasberg 20-30 million dollars.  
In 1999, forty-five years after Marilyn scratched her way through her note to Rosten, an auction house auctioned Marilyn's personal possessions. Knickknacks and cocktail dresses and blue jeans and her mother's alabaster baby grand piano netted, in toto, $13,405,785.  

In the 1999 auction, Marilyn's personal copy of a children's storybook, The Little Engine That Could, fetched $16,100. The book, attributed to one non-existent "Watty Piper," was published in 1930, when Marilyn was four years old.  
But no one knows for sure who first told or wrote the story of the little engine that, like Marilyn, thought it could. "It feels like I am writing my own name, almost, However—"
The story appeared in a New York newspaper in 1906, the year Georges Méliès released Les quatre cents farces du diable (The 400 Blows of the Devil).  
cover illustration from The Little Engline That Could