Friday, December 21, 2007

sick but with poetry

i am sick. but i have poetry. i've been reading a new anthology i purchased recently. many of the poems have really moved me, but i'll start out with some humor:

This Is Just to Say, by William Carlos Williams (1934)

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

and in the same anthology the editor posts a poem in response:

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams, by Kenneth Koch (1962)

I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

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!

1 comment:

adj said...

in a high school English class - just general junior level English - we memorized poems and marched around campus reciting them. we memorized the first one, but never knew about the second.

thanks for the memories!