This Is Just To Say

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:11 PM

I thought I might try to start regularly picking out bits of poetry and commenting on them here. Here's a fun one I haven't read for awhile, “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 think Williams had a unique gift for “picturesque poetry,” or, more properly, “Imagist poetry.” Unlike much of the poetry of the last century that aimed more at painting a scene than telling a story or arguing a point, but failed to do much of anything at all, Williams's works actually seemed to succeed in being primarily a sensory experience. This one always makes my mouth water as if I really have missed out on a cold, sweet plum.


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