52 Poems, Week 4: This Is Just to Say (Williams)
This has got to be one of my favorites:
This Is Just To Say
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
(1934, William Carlos Williams, 1883 – 1963)
Those last three lines are exhilarating, with the “-cious,” “sw-“ and “so cold.” He didn’t even have to say “juicy.”
Each stanza has four beats by my count, making it more formal than free verse (which I don’t usually care for). The first two stanzas have twelve syllables; the third has thirteen—giving it the emphasis.
I also like how the title is part of the poem.
Was he really sorry?
—Robert Gotcher is a theologian from Milwaukee, where he and his wife have been raising their seven children, five of whom are out of the house, more or less. He is a recovering Beatlemaniac.
No, he wasn't sorry.
Posted by: Mac | 01/25/2018 at 08:25 AM
It was a rhetorical question.
Posted by: Robert Gotcher | 01/25/2018 at 08:43 AM
I know, but I thought it merited an answer anyway.
Posted by: Mac | 01/25/2018 at 10:29 AM
For emphasis. :-)
Posted by: Mac | 01/25/2018 at 10:37 AM
Poems like this are so impressive in their simplicity.
Posted by: Stu | 01/25/2018 at 11:03 AM
I have of late been on the other side of this poem--but it was pears.
Posted by: Janet | 01/25/2018 at 05:34 PM
Oh good, now you can write one of those "herstory" versions of a famous work, like the novels about Captain Ahab's wife and St. Augustine's girlfriend.
Posted by: Mac | 01/25/2018 at 09:24 PM
I can't believe that you actually think I'm capable of writing anything anymore. ;-)
Posted by: Janet | 01/26/2018 at 07:44 AM
Such a fine poem
Posted by: grumpy | 01/26/2018 at 09:48 AM
Yes. It's a gimmick, but it works. I was wondering whether the editors of my old Selected Poems of Williams considered it worthy of inclusion, and they do.
Janet, I'm sure you are, but now that you mention it you may not be the right person. It needs an angry feminist to fully draw out all the oppression implicit in the poem.
Posted by: Mac | 01/26/2018 at 10:32 AM
If anything can raise me to that level of anger, it would be going to the fridge for some tasty morsel that I had been anticipating all day and finding that someone had been there before me. That would not be specifically feminine, though, more in line with that of the Hulk.
Posted by: Janet | 01/26/2018 at 11:33 AM
The feminist angle would consist not so much in the anger about the loss of the morsel but in placing the incident within a grand historical narrative of men's mistreatment of women, and being angry about that. That might be less spectacular than the Hulk-like rage, but it would keep indefinitely.:-)
Posted by: Mac | 01/26/2018 at 12:16 PM
I have actually started a poem post, but my progeny interrupted. I should have some time to finish it soon.
Posted by: Janet | 01/26/2018 at 01:50 PM
I have actually
--by Janet Cupo
started a poem post,
but my progeny
I should have some time
to finish it
Posted by: Robert Gotcher | 01/26/2018 at 03:25 PM
Would you like to collaborate, Robert?
Posted by: Janet | 01/26/2018 at 06:08 PM