William Carlos Williams This Is Just To Say

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William Carlos Williams' poetry generally appears to focus around the subtleties in life, things that would normally be overlooked by the common eye. In his poem "This is Just to Say", he gives us an empty apology for eating plums that were being saved for breakfast. An apology written for a couple of plums stolen from the ice box would seem excessive to most but to Williams the plums were only one of many problems in his lifeless marriage. "Lifeless marriage?” you say. How did we come to this conclusion? At the time, Williams was a prominent doctor not only with his own practice but a second job as the head of pediatrics at the Passaic General Hospital. In the evening, he spent his time writing poetry, and during the day he tended to the …show more content…
He had been married for 22 years at this time. Twenty-two years marked by busy schedules, missed connections and silence. “This is Just to Say” might appear to be about plums at first glance to some readers but perhaps Williams had more to apologize for than just plums. He says, "and which/you were probably/saving/for breakfast,"(6-8) which implies he hadn't spoken much to his wife at the time. If the couple communicated with each other regularly, Williams would know not to eat his wife's plums. He uses the literary device stream of consciousness to convey his thoughts by writing down whatever seems to come to his mind as opposed to thorough sentences. The apology also seems insincere and empty at best. Twelve lines long and twenty-eight words in total, it seems like Williams didn't put too much thought into the words and merely scribbled it all down at once. Taken out of context, one might really believe that it's a note from their withdrawn and unavailable lover. The poem itself is more like a cover-up for what their marriage had become, an apology that it turned out this way rather than an offer to make it better. The last lines talk about how sweet and delicious the plums were. He could be talking about how pleasant their marriage once was but now, like the plums, all the sweetness had faded and all that was left between them was inhospitable conversations and …show more content…
Often times the readers take literature at face value when in reality something as trivial as plums could really be a signal for something much more substantial like a failing marriage. Williams was a prosperous scholar and an innovative, revolutionary writer during his time, receiving numerous awards and praise for his work but despite all this he still had many vices. Though Florence was a forgiving woman, their marriage was far from perfect and the plums were only the tip of the

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