Dec 17

This Is Just To Say

Prompt: By Heart

You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind? – Daily Post

Being asked to recite a poem from memory would be a near impossible task for me. I know chucks of a couple different poems, such as “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, and  “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas. I remember parts of these because I adore these poems. I am just not able to remember them in their entirety. My memory just doesn’t work that way.

That said, one poem I do remember the words to, and that poem is “This is Just to Say” by William Carlos Williams

This Is Just To Say
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

The reason this poem is so embedded in my memory, an 11th grade English assignment.

When it came to school, English classes and I didn’t always get along. I hated anything that had to do with spelling, vocabulary, grammar, assigned reading, and tests. I did enjoy research papers, creative writing assignments, and special projects. Those three things were what saved me from failing year after year.

During my Junior year, we were assigned a project where we had to pick a poem, analyze it, and present it to the class. I chose “This Is Just To Say” and if I do say so myself, I kicked serious butt on my presentation. I compared the poem to life with a younger brother and the fights over the good snacks in the house. The plum in my story was a KitKat bar. I even managed to find a recording of the author reading the poem to play to the class. And this was before the Internet! So this is just to say, I scored an A on the assignment and managed to pass the class that semester. 


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