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Analysis and comments on This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

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Comment 65 of 255, added on March 5th, 2007 at 11:55 PM.

This poem relates to me the importance of sharing; whether it be love
between one another, or even fruit for a meal in the morning for the two or
many. The author may be sorry he ate the fruit both of them would share,
which brings up even more analytical points about lost love, lust, and
abandonment but I don't wish to go into that.
This is a man who wants to be Forgiven though he is not sorry, but he I
think he would not be hurt if his wife was angry with him.

Katie! from United States
Comment 64 of 255, added on March 1st, 2007 at 1:34 PM.

I think it interesting how a few of the more recent posters attribute some
malevolence to the narrator of this poem. I have loved this poem for a long
time and that never ocurred to me. From the tone and the beautiful
sensuality of it I have always had the impression that the note-writer and
it's intended reader love each other very much, and that the writer knows
the reader will forgive him. He just couldn't help himself from eating the
luscious fruit. She/he will understand, even though she probably wanted the
fruit for herself, and be happy that he enjoyed it so. He owns up to what
he did, though perhaps he coild have gotten away without that, and by so
doing he shares some of his experience with her and so gives it back to her
in a way.

I can't say that one interpretation is better than another, though I'll
admit I like mine more!

Glynis from United States
Comment 63 of 255, added on February 23rd, 2007 at 3:38 PM.

Read "Variations on a theme by William Carlos Williams" by Kenneth Koch...a
wonderful parody! Just as simple/lovely as the original in its own twisted

Christina from United States
Comment 62 of 255, added on April 29th, 2006 at 2:42 PM.

this poem is just awsome, just a few words, a commonpace situation , a
note on the fridge...and this feeling of trangression, this is just
lustful! he apologies but doesn't regret at the same time.simple words but
the right ones, I pictured myself,facing this huge white frige with note
stuck on it...

Emma from France
Comment 61 of 255, added on April 20th, 2006 at 8:15 AM.

There is a wealth of information we can infer directly from the words of
the poem, without having to resort to WCW's Imagist inclinations or his
latent Socialism.

We know, for instance, that the author of the note expects it to be read
and soon - he has some sort of relationship to the reader that allows them
to share access to the icebox. We know that the author has enough
information about the reader that he knows what she was thinking about
having for breakfast.

There are some questions that the poem begs - Why would a genuinely
contrite plum-thief describe how much joy his larcenous perfidy brought
him? If he's not genuinely contrite - and I submit that he is not sorry at
all - then why leave a note? Why start it so cavalierly? If he and the
intended recipient were so close as to share an icebox and therefore likely
a home, would the pilfered plums really be a noteworthy issue?

I suggest that this is the last note from one lover to another. Either the
man is leaving her for another woman or she's discovered a faithless
indiscretion and chucked him out and he's decided to go like a barbed

A note such as this could be devestating - subtle and incisive.

It says: "I want you to know it was me. I did this. And I did it to you. I
knew when I did it that you didn't want it to happen. And I loved it."

The ambiguity of the plum reference is, in my opinion, intentional. By
forcing the reader to consider and reconsider the crime of the stolen
fruit, it forces her to ask who is both sweet and cold? "Is it me?" she
might ask. "Am I sweet but cold? Is the other woman sweet but cold? Was he
sweet but cold?" These thoughts would be a puzzle providing continuous
temptation to draw the reader into thinking about the event again and
again, like a stone skipping over a lake of cold realisation that he is

Nathan Dornbrook from United Kingdom
Comment 60 of 255, added on April 17th, 2006 at 7:17 PM.

The simplicity of William's crime, eating the plums, just exeplifies the
lack of sincerity in the apology. He was probably trying to show how
apologies are more of execuses than anything else. The speaker isn't sorry
he ate the plums, which is obvious in his description of them, but he
probably doesn't want his friend mad at him. Maybe William's was sick of
getting lame apologies so he wrote this simple poem...

Jenn Webb from United States
Comment 59 of 255, added on April 1st, 2006 at 10:23 AM.

This poem really caught my attention! I think it is very weird but also
great :) ...free verse is so good. I recommend to read EE Cummings-I carry
your heart (thats my favorit)...

alexandra from Slovakia Republic
Comment 58 of 255, added on March 30th, 2006 at 10:30 PM.

also the only word capitalized other than I is "Forgive" which shows that
forgiveness is probably the most important theme in the poem.

nolan from United States
Comment 57 of 255, added on March 30th, 2006 at 10:24 PM.

if there is any symbolism in this note about eating someone's plums, it is
edenic. the plums are the forbidden fruit, the taste and feel are the
temptation(snake), and the ultimate forgiver is god. personally i think he
just spaced a note awkwardly and called it a poem. (its just a sentence
with white space)

nolan from United States
Comment 56 of 255, added on March 30th, 2006 at 6:13 PM.

i hate plums but this poem makes me want to eat one and u people talkin
about sacred fruit gimme a break u guys must have your heads up your ...
thinkin that one up

sean from Canada

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Information about This Is Just To Say

Poet: William Carlos Williams
Poem: This Is Just To Say
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 2244 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 22 2008

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