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

Analysis, meaning and summary of William Carlos Williams's poem This Is Just To Say


  1. Darkene Flournoy says:

    “This is Just To Say”
    This poem did what poems should do make the reader feel something, or try to come up with what they think the poet is trying to tell you in a coded message. But their is no hidden message HE ate the plums. The plums was not for him to eat. He is now sorry to disapoint the owner of the plums.

  2. gee buttersnaps says:

    This is Just to Say is just a poem. It has been way overanalyzed. Did it ever occur to you that maybe he is just describing the plums? some obvious hints are: the title. THIS IS JUST TO SAY. He is just saying it, not giving us the answers to life. Second, his wife actually wrote a reply. Do you think that has some hidden meaning as well????

  3. Lynne Nebbeling says:

    I haven’t read all comments re:this poem,but have PERSONALLY long regarded it as a private communication between Williams + his wife…left in a freakin’ POST IT NOTE format!!!I believe he may be a genius in his “poetic genre”,but to his wife,he was her “HUSBAND”,less formal + this was prob. a literal,tongue-in-cheek note,showing HE didn’t regard himself TOO SERIOUSLY!~!(Way too “OVERANALYZED” IMO!

  4. sabrina says:

    this poem ROCKS

  5. Dilara Yozgatli says:

    I enjoy reading it as if it was written to some random person, and not ME. I thought “the narrator in the poem is teasing the person mentioned”. However, when i think of myself as the person whose plums are eaten, i feel used; somebody has eaten my plums. That depends on the person who has eaten them ofcourse. Every person can have a different perspective and interpretation of the poem- you maybe have more than one depending on the situation. As I put the message in my own words: take care of what you have, some thief may come and steal it from you. i wonder if you thought about yourselves while reading this poem? I didn’t when i fisrt read it!

  6. Zeynep Özarda says:

    I also think this is a poem about forbidden things being more attracktive and pleasurable, even though they create a sense of guilt during and/or after the act itself. The narrator talks about how he couldn’t resist to the plums in the icebox, how cold and delicious they are; so basically how pleasurable they are. Yet the plums are forbidden to him, because they are someone else’s breakfast, or at least they belong to someone else. He eats them and discovers they are as good as they looked, but he feels the guilt afterwards. He says he knew he shouldn’t have eaten them but that they were irresistibly good looking.

  7. Taha Zeki Ramazanoğlu says:

    Although it may sound like I am trying to be funny, this poem can be interpreted very differently than the usual “the husband cheats on the wife” way. It can be argued that, the man has been forced to eat the plums, or do whatever the plums symbolises, because his wife has been preventing him to access what he had done. His wife may be forcing him to fast, or she may be deceiving him, or even she may be the one who is cheating. However the situation is bad, the man still says that he is sorry for what he is doing, and it feels wrong, but he has to do it or else he will die – the lack of food and starvation is ended when he eats the plums. This comment may seem silly or even ridiculous, but I after I thought on this poem, I realized that it may be interpreted from another perspective.

  8. Gokce says:

    This is a poem which enables the readers to sympathize with the situation. It is a very simple poem, which talks about the appealing nature of plums and an apology for eating them. I think the plums can be the symbol for something stolen maybe, something very irresistible. Or it might symbolize doing something which is forbidden. Either way, the poet apologizes for what he’ve done, but does not regret it. I liked this poem because almost everybody can relate to it, we’ve all had moments in our life which we’ve done something wrong without any regret. The lack of punctuation also indicates the simplicity of the poem, along with making it sketch-like. Because it is not complicated and exaggerated, readers can relate to it even more.

  9. Alanur says:

    Here is my response for nonfiction class…

    This is Just to Try

    I have torn
    the fifth poem
    that I wrote
    in my notebook

    and which
    you would probably find
    if you read

    Forgive me Mr.Lovely
    they were inefficacious
    I was so tenderfeet
    and unendowed

  10. * says:

    I think the poem is not simple as it seems. It contains an imaginary components that gives clues about the poet’s life. He is not regretful what he had done but in a way he doesn’t want to be at odds with the “audience”. And it kind of makes me angry. I understand, you ate them, but why are you telling that they were delicious?

  11. kk says:

    what is this poem about???? is there a real meaning???

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