In honor of Friday poetry,so sweet and so cold
In honor of my fascination with connections,
In honor of my two week’s notice,

I offer these two poems that go so well together.

This is Just to Say (by William Carlos Willams, 1962)

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

… and …

To a Frustrated Poet (by R.J. Ellmann)

This is to say
I know
You wish you were in the woods,
Living the poet life,
Not here at a formica topped table
In a meeting about perceived inequalities in the benefits and allowances offered to employees of this college,
And I too wish you were in the woods,
Because it’s no fun having a frustrated poet
In the Dept. of Human Resources, believe me.
In the poems of yours that I’ve read, you seem ever intelligent and decent and patient in a way
Not evident to us in this office,
And so, knowing how poets can make a feast out of trouble,
Raising flowers in a bed of drunkenness, divorce, despair,
I give you this check representing two weeks’ wages
And ask you to clean out your desk today
And go home
And write a poem
With a real frog in it
And plums from the refridgerator,
So sweet and so cold.

Update: (4/4/07) A big, big thank-you to mk who pointed me toward this tribute – the first cover poem I ever read and I’ve been trying to find for a long time:

This Is Just to Say
Erica-Lynn Gambino

(for William Carlos Williams)

I have just
asked you to
get out of my
apartment

even though
you never
thought
I would

Forgive me
you were
driving
me insane.

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