National Poetry Month — WCW

This is Just to Say

By William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

Read the rest here.

Oh, we’ve read this one before so many times. A poem of apology for the ages. But I don’t think my friend Grace had read it before. Grace is 17 years old and the daughter of my friend, Jo. Every time I read a book I think Grace or her sister Margaret will like, I pass it forward to them. And Grace was kind enough to take part in my Poetry Month fun.

This was Grace’s response to WCW’s "This is Just to Say":

"I read the poem with my mom and we both laughed out loud! My favorite part is ‘and which you were probably saving for breakfast’ because I can really relate to that. hahahaaa! My mom and I always get in trouble with one another about desserts. We will make something delicious together and have a little, but later when I come back for more, or when I look for it to have at breakfast, its gone! We laugh a lot about it."


Hooray for poetry you can relate to, that’s what I say! Perhaps this isn’t true for all poets, but when I write poetry I’m hoping to tap into a truth, a universal emotion or truth, that others will relate to, or will say, "YES! That’s it! But I’ve never thought about it that way…"

This is what Grace had to say about poetry in general, and apologies specifically:

"When I think of poems I think: hard work. It takes time and serious thought to come up with the right words and rhymes to express what you want to say. So, a poem or a written apology seem, in my opinion, more heartfelt. I love my mom, and if I was as talented as great poets like William Carlos Williams, I would definitely start writing apologetic poems."

But guess what, dear readers? I convinced her to write one anyway. 🙂 Here is Grace’s own true-to-life, current version of WCW’s "This is Just to Say". Can you relate?

I have eaten
the last of the Häagen-Dazs ice cream
that was in
the freezer


and which
you were probably
saving
for your midnight snack.


Forgive me
it was heavenly

so caramel-ly
and so cold.

—Grace Bailey, inspired by WCW

HA! Now, Grace, that made ME laugh out loud. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “National Poetry Month — WCW

  1. S was just reading some WCW in school – they had to write a poem based not on This is Just to Say, but on his Red Wheelbarrow. One of the kids wrote about a basketball ref – “So much depends/upon/a black & white-striped man . . . “

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