I was listening to a podcast of This American Life the other day and it opened with the famous poem ‘This is just to say’ by William Carlos Williams, followed by several spoof versions. Apparently, many writers have done versions of this famous poem. In fact, in classrooms and writing groups it’s not an uncommon exercise, not to mention a fun one, to create a rendition of the poem. Before I go any farther, here is the original poem:
THIS IS JUST TO SAY by William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
The apology is pretty lack luster. You totally get the feeling that the narrator is not sorry at all and knew damn well the plums were being saved. That is the one aspect that is consistent with the spoof versions – the false apology. Also, the broken poetry style is often used. Other than that, there doesn’t appear to be any rules. On This American Life, several cast members read their own variations. Some were long, some short, some funny and some quite dark. It’s on the Mistakes Were Made episode and I highly recommend listening to it. The poems are in the prologue so you wont have to wait long. It also happens to be the episode about freezing dead people, so it’s win win.
Anyway, I fell in love with the exercise and thought you guys might like to have a go at it too. So, today’s comic is my first attempt. I found it has the same addictive nature as writing haiku so I imagine this wont be the last time I use the concept on the comic. Hope you enjoy mine and have fun writing your own and sharing them here.
Here’s one variation I came across online that I made me smile:
by Kenneth Koch –
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!
A quick bit of happy news before I leave you: We have more mannequin parts! Last Wednesday Macy’s in Tampa had their annual props sale. Unfortunately, we found out late in the day, so a lot of the real gems were snatched up, but we managed to leave there with one almost full mannequin (she’s without arms), a headless torso, two random arms with broken fingers and a hand. HoO! For now I’ll just share a photo of the sale grounds. We salivated the minute we entered the lot!
See you next week…