"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: "One Hundred Years of Solitude"
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Friday, 29 August 2014
“This is Just to Say”
Born and died in Rutherford, New Jersey 1883 -1963
“This is Just to Say” by William Carlos Williams
I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox
and which you were probably saving for breakfast
Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold
This absolutely brilliant little gem of a poem by William Carlos Williams is a masterpiece in saying a lot with a few words. There is a whole back-story that you simply can't help hearing when you read it. One imagines it as being a scribbled note left on the kitchen work-surface and it speaks of some kind of blissfully happy domestic situation. You can taste the plums and somehow you know that she won't be angry when she reads the note. Apparently she wrote a reply:
Dear Bill: I've made a
couple of sandwiches for you.
In the ice-box you'll find
blue-berries--a cup of grapefruit
a glass of cold coffee.
On the stove is the tea pot
with enough tea leaves
for you to make tea if you
prefer--Just light the gas--
boil the water and put it in the tea
Plenty of bread in the bread-box
and butter and eggs--
I didn't know just what to
make for you. Several people
called up about office hours--
See you later. Love. Floss.
Please switch off the telephone.
This is very sweet and also, in it's way, tells a bigger story. I love the last line about switching off the telephone.
Some may ask whether "This is Just to Say" is really a poem at all but have no doubt that it is a great one. The lines all appear to be fairly similar but they contains lots of different metres but, somehow, it still seems to have a kind of rhythm when read. Incidentally, I think the first line can be read as a part of the poem. This poem has probably been over analysed since being written in 1934; it has even suggested that it's sub-text is about sexual frustration!
I prefer just to read it and smile.
my experiment of naming the music I am listening to while posting or commenting
- right now it's: Leonard Cohen's 'Suzanne'.