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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 21- “This Is Just to Say”

ADVENT DAY 21

This Is Just To Say, by William Carlos Williams

Submitted by Rebecca Whidden. Becky Whidden was an Access Services Specialist at Falvey. She shared this poem with me when she heard about the poetry Advent calendar. I love this little poem. The poem is lacking in punctuation or rhyme, which makes it fairly ambiguous and open to the reader’s interpretation, which makes it a favorite among high school English teachers who in my experience have used it as a springboard for discussing meaning and interpretation in poetry. In some ways it is a Rorschach test with words.

At face value the poem is extremely simple, evoking the banal domestic image of a note left out on a table. However upon reading it, I personally can’t help but feel the sensual nature of the poem. The intimacy of a private note meant only to be shared between two people; the word choices – “plums,” ‘icebox,” “forgive,” “delicious,” “sweet” – something about the way these words feel when when spoken carries a richness that arouses the senses in complex and beautiful ways.

 


This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


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1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Bill Greene — December 21, 2014 @ 12:49 PM

    Good choice, Becky. This is a poem whose story is told but largely implied. There is more to it than meets the eye.

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Last Modified: December 17, 2016