PROMPTuesday #18: Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

The fantawonderful couple, Paul and the Cocktail Maven, recently proposed a PROMPTuesday idea, which caught my fancy, so I’m making it official here.


As they wrote:


William Carlos Williams’s poem “This is just to say...” is basically about people who know they are supposed to say I’m sorry and apologize — but skirt the apology itself. Here’s the poem:


This Is Just to Say


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


So the PROMPT for today is to wrote your own version of the poem.


And today? No rules again. So go crazy! (Within reasonable limits of course.)


Meanwhile, if you’ve got the time, read past PROMPTuesdays here.


32 Responses to “PROMPTuesday #18: Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”

  1. foolery says:

    I LOVE this poem! Ever hear Billy Collins read it in his flagging monotone? Somehow it sparkles, even still. Thanks — I’ll give it a shot.

    — Laurie @ Foolery

  2. kate says:

    oh dear
    a poem

    that is to say
    i like poems
    to read

    but forgive me
    for not writing
    a poem
    of my own

  3. Auds says:

    Um yeah, what Kate said.

    Besides, The Retreat made my brain explode earlier and I’m still quite busy scraping pieces of gray matter off of the walls and ceiling.

    And then if that weren’t enough, I had another lesson on how I don’t speak English, but American and that Merriam Webster is a “right wanker who wouldn’t know a knicker from a knob!”


    The gene is absent
    which would have lent
    itself to decent material
    if I hadn’t already
    expended gray matter
    all over my cozy abode.

    I’ve furrowed my brow
    and wrinkled my nose
    in frustration but
    alas I must apologize
    for leaving you
    without a pretty
    posey of a poem.

  4. Who Me?
    Oh yes
    I did say I would write
    But alas
    It seems that I need
    A good kick in the ass

    Forgive me
    I write on my blog everyday
    I will join Prompt Tuesday
    Another day.

  5. I would write
    if I could remember
    how to parse phrases
    for poetry

    But I have children
    and therefore no memory.

    They are to blame
    for my lack of ingredients in the pantry
    and for my forgetting
    Suzy’s mommy’s name.

  6. Shelia says:

    I love this poem. I will see what I can come up and come back.

  7. San Diego Momma says:

    When you said
    you loved me
    I meant to answer

    and should have nodded
    or something

    Maybe a kiss
    or a hug
    for luck

  8. foolery says:

    This is just to say
    I accidentally sprayed
    the plums
    that are in
    the icebox
    with ant spray

    Yup, those plums
    that I’ve been
    for breakfast

    So stupid of me
    they looked so delicious
    Would you mind
    throwing them away for me?
    *BEEP! If you’re happy with this message, press pound.*

  9. Steph says:

    Plums? What do I know from Plums? Unless you’re talking about Stephanie Plum who is possibly my favorite heroine ever.

  10. Erin says:

    I apologize
    but I have to go back
    into the house
    and wash my hands
    Some stupid cat pooped
    in the garden and
    while waiting for you
    I tried to clean it up
    but got it all over my hands
    Please entertain
    the baby who is fussy
    already strapped in her car seat
    Damn cat

  11. Wade Nash says:

    I wrote this as if it were being written by a serial killer. I hope you don’t mind.


    This is just to say . . .

    I have filled the freezer
    with your splendid body parts
    that I took from your charming yet lifeless body.

    Forgive me — but your hands were so lovely
    and they had been upon me so passionately the night before.
    I could not bear to part with them.

    And your cute, natty dreads — and soft lips.
    Your head with the still surprised look on its brow.
    I’ll preserve my memories of our short time together.
    You were so sweet — and are now so cold.

    — Jeffrey Dahlmer Carlos Williams

  12. […] week, our assignment is to apologize without really apologizing. Which I like. William Carlos Williams’s poem “This […]

  13. Da Goddess says:

    Loving all the early entries! Weeee doggie!

    (Too much Jed Clampett, I know.)

  14. I love it–one of these days I will play.

  15. jodyangel says:

    This Is Just to Say

    I have broken

    the eggs

    that were in

    the fridge


    you had promised

    to make me


    Forgive me

    they’re all broken

    so wet

    and empty..

  16. Karen says:

    I’m obsessed with posting my PROMPTuesdays on my blog and linking from here. I’m a nut like that.

    Here it is:

  17. robyn says:

    So funny, but when I saw the title of this prompt, I thought of the William Carlos Williams poem. :) Will post later.

  18. vodkamom says:

    The plums were round
    The plums were cold
    My fingers reached
    And then enclosed

    I couldn’t stop
    My hunger pains
    Until the plums
    Were down my drain.


  19. Tanya Kyi says:

    My husband decided to take a stab at this one. Cheers!

  20. I dedicate this to my darling husband:

    This is just to say

    I have used
    your razor
    that was
    in the shower

    for which
    you had
    a new blade

    forgive me
    it was so sharp
    and I
    so hairy

  21. Green Girl says:

    I’ve always adored that poem.

    This is just to say
    That while you ate your plums
    And I drank my coffee
    I hated you for inviting your mother to come along with us to Disney World.
    I will not say another word
    Now that I know you’ve heard
    You ate all the plums?
    I’ll try the peaches.

  22. Oh. This spot?
    The one I just slipped into?
    In the front of the lot?
    I did not think it your intent
    I saw no signal
    A nod? Not.
    I squelched my hunch
    The gas I hit
    As I saw you mouth
    Oh shit
    Please accept from me
    This paltry apology

  23. Momma Mary says:

    I posted it on my blog too, but here:


    The salt is gone
    The couch is covered.
    You’ve begun to shout.

    I wish I had listened,
    and not been naughty.
    Now I’m in time-out.

    I realize now
    that salt may taste good,
    but it’s not to be poured on the couch.

  24. mami Jen says:

    only once a week
    we gather to meet
    and sit in that room
    where the fan brings gloom
    to hear Gods word
    to praise the joy
    we slowly file in
    to sit and grin
    for now it’s time to begin
    and oh my
    i wish i could fly
    for as I pass you by
    my mind freezes
    i hear the breezes
    as I fumble for your name
    only once a week
    we gather to meet
    forgive me
    for not knowing your name.

  25. robyn says:

    Here it is. Better later than never!

  26. Da Goddess says:

    I feel parts II & III coming on. It’s been that kind of a day.

  27. San Diego Momma says:

    Oh this was a prolific PROMPT. Thanks Cocktail Maven and Paul!
    There’s some freaking talent here in them thar comments.

    Awesome writing everyone!

  28. chris says:

    I tried to come up with a poem but I’m so intimidated by the crowd here that no poetic verse can come out. Maybe someday when no one is watching, I’ll be able to compose.

  29. Tony says:

    Flat cat . . .
    He: “Pardon me sir.
    I regret to inform you
    That I have struck and slain
    Your cat. However,
    I would like to replace it.”
    Me: “That would be fine.
    Can you catch mice?”

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