Though Lee Marvin was known as a tough guy, he had a softer more reflective side as well. He suffered from ADD and dyslexia, which hampered his academic abilities, but nonetheless he was a talented writer as exemplified by this piece of writing entitled “The Way of Life” which he wrote circa 1945 for a literature class:
“It was a late spring evening, full of the golden splendor of sunset. The clouds as if tinted by some past master were windswept and exploding with the glory of nature, drifting on and on as they have done for centuries. The grass held the very fragrance and softness that they alone posses. At their bases were the sun-singed followers who too wanted life but had failed.
Sprawled in this magnitude of beauty was the once fine-formed body of a man. The passing rain had left the form dubbed with pellets of diamond like drops sparkling in the last rays of the disappearing sun. He too, as the blades of grass, wanted life but had lost in his all too sincere struggle.
This man, or rather lad, had at the age of eighteen met his maker. The clothes that he wore were of a rough cloth, originally green but now, after days of dirty living and dying, they were smeared with his very life, dried to the earthen ground from which it came.
To be buried? Perhaps, but that is of little importance to him now or ever. His clenched hands still but firm, grasping the dirt in his last attempt to keep from sliding into the unknown.”