Sunday, April 5, 2009

Imagism: This is Just to Say

“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.

Imagist poetry is a seeming contradiction. It is concise and simple in the visual aspect as well as the literal meaning, but it is also quite complex in its "actual" meaning. Imagist poetry paints a concrete picture for the reader while expressing a deeper meaning.

his particular poem uses clean and succinct language to create a picture. At first glance this poem comes off almost as if it were a note left on the table next to the empty plum container awaiting discovery.

At first glance this poem seems like nothing more than a simple note, but after it is read the reader starts to notice the poetic feel of the words. The reader gets dragged in by the simplicity and swallowed by the complexities.

The language in this poem is very crisp, clear and to the point. There isn't a word over three syllables in the poems entirety and the poem itself is only 28 words. This poem is by right and by form simplistic in nature.

There is no tangible answer as to what this poem is pertaining to, many observations can be made and many questions can be raised. Is the poem about a love affair? Does the poem have nothing to do with love? Is forgiveness really what the speaker seeks? Is the speaker sincere in apologizing? Is the speaker self-righteous? Polite? Pleased? Good-humored?

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