Plums (Williams’ poem)

hall groat nyc plumsThis Is Just To Say (by William Carlos Williams)

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
(this is one of my favs!)
Teaching tips:
~This poem can be used as an example of how poems can be simple, do not have to rhyme, and can be about any topic.
~ Talk about the tone (some say it is ambiguous, but I think it is playful – and signals a healthy relationship – the freedom to indulge on the plums and leave a playful note says so much about the healthy relationship that is likely shared here….).
~ What can we infer about the relationship between the speaker of the poem and the person being addressed?  (we can infer possibly a pleasant, intimate relationship – and this may be a private note – but also has some formality to it)


~ From NAP: Williams (1883-1963) pictured below, felt that all types of art ‘should be grounded in the everyday, and that it should strip away all the unnecessary rhetoric of older poetic traditions. “No ideas but in things” he would say as he aimed to simplify!