William Carlos Williams This Is Just To Say

994 Words4 Pages

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? Yes, Williams at the time was a doctor not only with his own practice but a second job as a pediatrician at the Passaic General Hospital. In the night, he spent his time writing poetry, and during the day he tended to the ails of his community. Despite having a wife and two sons, …show more content…

He spent some time traveling throughout Europe, attended high School in New York City and upon his graduation enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with his medical degree and within a couple of years opened his own practice as well as wrote his first set of poems which were privately published. Shortly after graduating, he married his wife, Florence Herman. The couple had two sons during their marriage. Williams spent a majority of his free time away from work writing. He didn't just write poetry but also short stories, plays, novels and magazine articles. He regularly contributed to a magazine known as The Dial and received the Dial Award in 1926. This award was presented to one of the magazine's contributors and included two thousand dollars. Only eight awards were granted, some to such well known poets like E. E. Cummings or T. S. …show more content…

His wife and two sons stayed for the next year after he returned to New Jersey to continue practicing medicine and writing. It might suggest that the relationship between him and his wife had been strained at the time. Long beforehand when the couple first met it was actually because Williams had been dating Florence's sister, Charlotte. However, so was his brother. When his brother proposed to Charlotte, Williams decided to settle for the next best thing: Florence. At this time in America, it was uncommon for couples to get divorced. Once you were married, that was it for the rest of your life for most people. Williams and Florence may not have been as close as most couples as it seems Williams wasn't initially interested at all. At one point later in his life Williams was hospitalized for depression after having endured several strokes. While he struggled in the hospital, he wrote a letter to Florence confessing infidelity during their marriage and begging for forgiveness. “Forgive me/they were delicious/so sweet/and so cold” (9-12) the plums could also be a reference to a mistress, and this poem was his way of apologizing for his wrongdoings. He could be pleading for forgiveness from his beloved wife for giving into the sweet temptation that is adultery. While it might have been nice while it lasted, he ends the poem with a cold pang of regret because he knows, try as he

Show More
Open Document