An Analysis Of William Carlos Williams This Is Just To Say

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Since its invention, poetry has been yet another example of an art form that is utilized for a variety of different functions. Art can be used to creatively express almost anything and, barring comedic artwork, the choice as to what the piece is conveying tends to fit within the dichotomy of moral or political commentary. In terms of poetry, authors often switch between the two throughout their bodies of work. William Carlos Williams is an imagist poet whose personal poetic philosophy as expressed in various essays and interviews demonstrates a clear choice for using the poetic form to make social political commentary. In particular, Williams poem This is Just to Say is no exception to Williams’ method of using the poetic form for political …show more content…
Williams is known for comparing the poetic form to a machine: “There’s nothing sentimental about a machine, and: A poem is a small (or large) machine made out of words.” (“Williams’s Introduction” 256). Immediately, a machine-focused imagism is reminiscent of a political institution that functions solely to accomplish a goal. In terms of sentimentality, Williams’ philosophy also applies to politics, which often rely on outcomes and statistics to make hard decisions that affect the entire population as opposed to allowing moral sentimentality guide their actions. Williams’ poem This is Just to Say is congruent with the utilitarian theme as the poem simply serves as a memo from the speaker to another individual about stealing their plums. This is Just to Say does not admit remorse or an understanding of the likely emotional response to having one’s plums stolen and instead simply seeks to provide an almost psychopathic relation of what the speaker did. Williams quite obviously is not looking to explore the morality behind the decision of eating the plums and instead the speaker admits they aware that the probably being saved: “you were probably / saving / for breakfast” (“This is Just” L. 6-8). The poem demonstrates a marked lack of awareness about morality and a strict adherence to a political

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