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May 22, 2008 / Kate

This is just to say

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about saying sorry and meaning it, about forgiveness, about relationships. I was listening to a This American Life episode and they were thinking about these things too. They quoted a poem by William Carlos Williams that maybe you are familiar with that demonstrates the act of saying sorry without really saying sorry.

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

They went on to showcase some other poems inspired by this one, and I decided to write my own.

This is Just to Say

I’m sorry I skinned your pet rabbit and ate him

We are trying to eat local food and

He lived next door

Now it’s your turn! Write a William Carlos William poem in the comments and I’ll send you a bar of handmade goat milk soap.

Here are some more examples of poems in this style from the Interwebs.

This is Just to Say by Kenneth Koch

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

Sorry But it was Beautiful by Andrew Vecchione (6th Grade)

Sorry I took your money and burned it
but it looked like the world falling
apart when it crackled and burned.
So I think it was worth it after all
you can’t see the world fall apart
every day.

Get crackin!

Edited to add:

I have more!

This is Just to Say
Sorry I burst out laughing while you gave your college commencement speech
You were probably nervous about standing up in front of all those people
I swear it wasn’t anything you said
I was reading Dagwood
You know how I love the Sunday comics

This is Just to Say
I’m sorry I didn’t pick you up from the airport
The game was in its third quarter
I hope you found a cheap flight back home
Forgive me
Next time we’ll go see the Space Needle



Leave a Comment
  1. jess / May 22 2008 10:45 pm

    I must be behind on my TLA episodes. Um, did you accidentally or on purpose eat a pet rabbit? Once you get started on the slaughtering, it’s hard to stop, isn’t it?

    For all I was annoyed by WCW in high school English, I do love that poem.

    Mine would probably go something like:

    I ate the last of the chocolate/ice cream/fill in the blank dessert
    I had a craving and I didn’t think
    you would care
    I hope you don’t
    You’re not much of a dessert eater, anyway

  2. jess / May 22 2008 10:46 pm

    PS You don’t need to send me soap – I’ve still got plenty.

  3. Nicki Griffin / May 23 2008 3:29 pm

    This is one I’d like to hear my husband tell me!

    I’m sorry I made you move to the armpit of the world.

    I thought I was fully accepted to the PhD program even though I didn’t have a letter.

    I should have listened to you and claled to make sure!

    Oh well! We are now off to St. Vlad’s in NYC for seminary, and we did get a paper letter telling of his acceptance to that program, so at least we are improving!

  4. Julia / May 24 2008 10:22 am

    To a newborn

    I’m sorry I yelped
    When you urped down my shirt
    I made your arms flail
    And your sweet lips turn pale.
    Forgive me –
    it wasn’t malicious,
    just quick
    and cold.

  5. Julia / May 24 2008 10:25 am

    The pet rabbit version though, that takes the cake.

  6. Lunasea / Jun 25 2008 5:23 am

    I’m what? a month late? But this is hilarious.

    This is just to say
    I’m sorry I told you to shut up
    but you were being really annoying
    and I was tired.

  7. Lunasea / Jun 25 2008 5:24 am

    This is just to say
    I don’t mean MINE is hilarious
    I mean this post is hilarious
    I mean your blog is…
    oh never mind.


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