NPM09: "This is Just to Say" Poems

The poem, "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams is interesting in itself. It's an apology, sorta. More, it's an explanation of why it's easier (and at times advantageous) to ask forgiveness than permission. It's meant to be playful.

What makes it more fun is how people are responding by writing their own "This is Just to Say" poems.  Some of these are highlighted in the recent This American Life radio episode "Mistakes Were Made" which I recommend you check out. The author of the Somewhere in the Suburbs blog has also asked readers to write their own version of the poem.

First, the original poem by William Carlos Williams. Second, my poem, followed by others from elsewhere.

This Is Just To Say (via)
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

My attempt...

This is Just to Say
by Steve McCoy

I left
an insulting comment
on your

when you
recommended the new
U2 album

Forgive me
I was already
logged in
and have functioning ears

Two from Kenneth Koch, poet (via)

Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!


I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

Carol (Somewhere...commenter)

I called
your new husband
by the name
of your old boyfriend.

The one
We thought
Marry you.

Forgive me.
He was familiar
So jolly
And easy talk to.