Saturday, February 16, 2008

This Is Just to Say

This is just to say
I haven't forgotten the suggestions
you made at new year's.
I haven't been able to give them as much thought
as I mean to, yet,
but they were good suggestions
so constructive and so interesting.
And you can be sure that
when the time is ripe
my answers will be both
sweet and cold.

Yours,
EA

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

And were they delicious, too?

W.C.W.

liquidambar said...

Now it can be told! Editorial Anonymous is really the spirit of William Carlos Williams.

I knew it all along.

Anonymous said...

Oh, NICELY done!

booklady said...

I always loved that poem. It's especially fun to quote. There's something extremely satisfying about saying, "They were delicious. So sweet and so cold." out loud.

Christy Lenzi said...

So much depends
upon

a dead-pan
remark

glazed with irony

beside the write
chickens

Editorial Anonymous said...

I do love chickens.

ae said...

I am terribly embarassed to admit that I had never heard of W.C.W. before, and my goodness, he lived about two miles from where I stand, at the moment.

I love poetry and my daughter and I analysed quite a bit of it this year for her English class. She recalled the 'Red Wheelbarrow' and offered me her interpretation.
Not anything like mine.

Anyhow, curiosity got the better of me today, and I read many interpretations of "This is Just to Say."

I find it interesting that because this was simply a note on the fridge, that so many people read more into it than I would have. To me, it is a soft/warning/apology/escape for something that happens all the time in my (probably everyone's)house.

But my complaint is that, if you don't claim it (the plum...the thing that entices you and kills your will to suppress, I (anyone) can and probably will claim it (the plum/ the reward/ whatever one can call it).

Nonetheless, the sweetness (of the writer and the plum) and the coldness (of the act, or perhaps the plum being subjected to coldness numbing its full flavor) leave the reader with a warm and comfortable feeling. And a "I did excuse myself with this note. I did it, but I fessed up."

It is quite interesting to read others interpretations though, and I suppose that is the mark of good poetry...to find oneself in others....

ChristineEldin said...

I will spend the rest of the day (and probably week) trying to think of what suggestions you are referring to....because I need closure!!
I hope you do a follow-up to this!
:-)

Robert said...

WCW himself explains the poem as a "true story." That is, he ate the plums that his wife was probably saving for breakfast, and he wrote her an apology note that he put on the refrigerator door. He claims, as well, that his wife wrote a response, also on the refrigerator door, which was a better poem than his own note, but which was not preserved.

This kind of "explanation" by a poet for a famous poem is generally suspect, but I wouldn't rule it out as being true in this case.

ae said...

Thanks, Robert. It is interesting, isn't it...what actually transpired...I wonder what her response was...mine would have been closing my eyes,sighing and shaking my head.