Wednesday, October 12, 2005

This is Just to Say

This is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast.

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

- William Carlos Williams

I really like this poem because there is more going on
than what it seems like. The author apologizes to the owner
of the plums yet he does it in a very interesting way. He
describes how delicious the plums were, which is something
that one wouldn't include in a letter or statement if they
were sincerely apologetic. The author, it seems, is actually
doing of the opposite of apologizing for his scandalous deed
and rubbing his skillful thievery in the person's face. The
poet also utilizes very simple, short words and is pleasing
to the ear when read aloud. The fruit taken could easily have
been a ba na na, or a wa ter mel on, or a goose berr y. Instead
the delectable treat is simply a ... plum. The plum is also
described as being simply "sweet" and "cold", not "mind-bendingly
scrumptious". This poem is all about simplicity and subtlety.
Thebeauty of it is that just skimming through the poem one
might notcatch the fact that this is not a true apology but a
cheap shot. The guy obviously has no sense of decency and is
just twisting the knife into his now plum-less victim. Though I
think the reaction one should get from this poem should be outrage
from his blatant disregard for other people's personal
items, the poem is written so simply that one can relate to the
basic thoughts running through the thief's mind. The plums were
just laying there, ripe and lucious, just asking to be eaten. To be
honest, I don't know if I can blame the guy anymore, because you
have to ask yourself, could YOU resist the temptation to
take a bite of that forbidden fruit? (Metaphorically and literally.)


Blogger Naseem said...

I agree that even though this poem is short and direct, there is also a lot of meaning behind it. The speaker is mocking the person he is apologizing to, he is bringing humor to the situation and to the reader.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

This poem reminds me of someone I know. The "cold" plum in the last line is a symbol of the act of stealing someone's food, then taking pleasure in eating it. It sounds like the speaker is just immature.

9:23 PM  

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