Auntie Ann Knits

Friday, May 02, 2008

This is just to say

Full disclosure -- there is no real knitting in this post. Only some fake knitting in one of the parodies. One of the very bad parodies, penned by myself. Forgive me.

Many of you would probably recognize the poem "This is Just to Say", by William Carlos Williams, from high school English. The one where the guy eats the plums from the ice-box that his wife was probably saving for breakfast, and fails to apologize, but peremptorily says, "forgive me". I hadn't thought about this poem much at all, in high school or since, until it was read and parodied on a recent episode of This American Life. TAL is one of my favorite shows, BTW, and I highly recommend it.

Go ahead and click on the first link above to read the poem. It will take you all of about 10 seconds to read it. We'll wait.

Back already? OK.

Ira Glass, the host of This American Life, says that this is probably one of the most parodied pieces of poetry ever. He also takes the poet to task for never apologizing for eating the plums, for BS-ing us with "you were probably saving them" (oh, he knew, he knew) and for peremptorily commanding her to "forgive me". Ha! I can see that Ira would not forgive, not with this sort of flimsy excuse for a note.

Ira suggests that an internet search for "this is just to say parody" will bring up many, many examples of parodies of this poem, and he was right, of course. Here are a few of my favorites.

Ahem. So I have taken the liberty of writing a few parodies of my own. Please feel free to add your own in the comments. It's not hard, and it's fun, in a sick kind of way.

This is just to say

I burned the scarf
you gave me
for my birthday
last year

and which you probably
thought I would love
when you spun the yarn
and knit each stitch

Forgive me
it was hideous
so scratchy
and so orange

This is just to say

I have run away
with my
personal trainer
from the gym

the gym you bought me
the gift membership for
the personal training

and you were
probably hoping
I’d become
more fit

Forgive me
his six-pack abs
are so perfect
and his pecs so hard

C'mon, give it a go. Release your inner poet!


  • This is just to say

    I can't write
    a poem
    to help with
    your blog

    and which
    you were probably
    to read

    Forgive me
    my mind can only think
    of "his pecs
    so hard"

    By Blogger JL Yarnworks, at Friday, May 02, 2008 2:12:00 PM  

  • This is just to say...

    I'm sorry we blew by
    your favorite yarn shop
    on the way to the cabin

    this cold and dreary
    weekend, but

    the fish might be biting.
    and I have to be
    out in the boat early.

    This is just to say...

    I lost a mitton
    on the playground

    One from the
    pair that fetched
    you a blue ribbon

    I last saw it
    in the gutter but
    it was too muddy to retrieve.

    By Anonymous Lisa from Mpls, at Sunday, May 04, 2008 9:54:00 AM  

  • Sorry! Can't come up with anything. Love yours, though:)

    By Anonymous angelarae, at Wednesday, May 07, 2008 7:02:00 AM  

  • This is just to say

    I have spun
    the cashmere and silk
    that was in your closet

    and that you were
    probably keeping
    for a very special project

    forgive me
    it made
    a lovely dog bed.

    By Blogger Romi, at Wednesday, May 14, 2008 11:22:00 PM  

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