This is Just to Say September 10, 2019 8:16 PM   Subscribe

I have used
the poem
that we have all
abused so badly

and many
of the versions
that MeFites created

Forgive me
it was for a class
on text and audience
and the students seemed to like it

A text that I am using with my high school seniors used This is Just to Say as an example of text, form, and audience, and I immediately thought of, well, all of you. Trying to explain this place to a bunch of Japanese high school students trying to get ready to apply to university was a little tough, but they did seem to like the little diversion, and I wanted to say thanks to this place for helping make class a little more interesting.

Of course, because I'm an evil teacher, I asked them to make their own version of the poem for next week. I mean, I couldn't resist.
posted by Ghidorah to MetaFilter-Related at 8:16 PM (36 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

1. Ha!, and 2. please post their poems next week if you can.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:16 PM on September 10 [12 favorites]

This is Just to Say
I never noticed

Which is to say
This is Just to Say

should pay more
posted by philip-random at 10:15 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]

ActingTheGoat, those are where I pulled most of the examples from. Thanks again for everyone’s contributions. Just imagine, that frisson of disgust, that curling of the lip that some feel when they come across these, I managed to make a whole class of perfectly innocent school children feel that exact way!
posted by Ghidorah at 10:20 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]

I have eaten the cheese bagel, and have to go to bed now.
posted by vrakatar at 12:35 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]

Haha, this is great! Love the tags as well.
posted by unicorn chaser at 3:46 AM on September 11

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the ice
box, the red
wheel barrow,

and each
cackling chicken,
then drunk
all the rain.

Forgive me,
for what
I do now.
posted by pracowity at 4:24 AM on September 11 [36 favorites]

I'm more of a "lik the bred" kind of poet on MetaFilter, but William Carlos Williams is my go-to everywhere else. I dropped one I'm especially proud of the other day on a Boston news site (hosted by MeFi's own adamg)
posted by Mayor West at 6:05 AM on September 11 [11 favorites]

There's a whole Facebook group dedicated to this: Forgive Me For Plumposting. And recently I fused WCW with another popular intellectual meme, as follows:
This is just to say

I have tied
the people
to the tracks
of the trolley

that is speeding
towards the lever
where you
are standing

Forgive me
it is a dilemma
so ethical
and so deontological
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:03 AM on September 11 [28 favorites]

Of course, because I'm an evil teacher, I asked them to make their own version of the poem for next week. I mean, I couldn't resist.

More evil lesson plan:
Write a smattering of random topics on index cards and make them compose, in groups, a This Is Just to Say on whatever topic they happen to draw. Hilarity ensues.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:19 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]

Just to say I ate the plums
Hope that my apology comes
Before you see the pits inside the waste bin
I didn't plan or even think
But ate them over the kitchen sink
It's a cold and a delicious metaphor for sin
posted by notquitemaryann at 7:41 AM on September 11 [12 favorites]

Cow is just to say

I have likked
the bred
that were in
the fortress

and which
you were probably
for tourists

Forgive me
the moon was brite
so shiyny
and you had gon to bed
posted by jacquilynne at 7:47 AM on September 11 [26 favorites]

posted by theora55 at 8:00 AM on September 11

I'm more of a "lik the bred" kind of poet on MetaFilter, but William Carlos Williams is my go-to everywhere else.

I've never been much of a poet of any variety, myself, but my partner is truly gifted at coming up with "lik the bred" poems for the random animal videos I send her throughout the day.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:29 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]

This Is Just To Say

I never considered
the idea
of audience
in this

and which
you have probably
deeply about

Forgive me.
Great class.
I'm happy
we're told.
posted by eotvos at 8:49 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]

stet's famous poems rewritten as limricks is brilliant and surprisingly addictive. I think I've got a new cocktail party conversation starter.

Two roads diverged in a wood.
At the intersection I stood.
Both were quite fair,
But one wanted wear.
I'd do it again if I could.

A one l llama's a priest.
A two ll llama's a beast.
Perhaps it is rude,
To sleep in the nude.
But pajama patience has ceased.

There once was a tiger quite bright.
Who burned in the forests at night.
The distant deep skies
And the fire of its eyes
Smiled at the lamb's awful fright.

There once was a dream deferred.
It dried up like a raisin uncured.
Does it run like a sore,
Or bad meat at the store,
When from its crust it's interred?

Once in Malamute Saloon,
The pianist was playing a tune.
A woman named Lou
Killed a guy called Mgrew
Beneath an awful clear moon.

There once was a busy bee
Who gathered honey, you see.
She labors well
To build her cell
But Satan is coming for thee.

(Someone who isn't me should try to build a machine learning version of this.)
posted by eotvos at 11:19 AM on September 11 [10 favorites]

This is just to say that this thread is now mentioned on the Wiki page, and vice versa.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:43 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]

What where those mirrors attached to headbands called.
posted by clavdivs at 12:01 PM on September 11

A head mirror?

How did we get here?
posted by pracowity at 12:08 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]

This is just to say

I have stolen
the head mirror
that was on
the 19th century doc's head

and which
you probably
don't know how
to properly use

Forgive me,
it was so illuminating
nasal passages
and clogged ear canals
posted by Burhanistan at 4:10 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]

^ My first and I promise my only WCW parody
posted by Burhanistan at 4:12 PM on September 11

> How did we get here?

This is Just to say

I have found myself
behind the wheel
of a large
posted by rather be jorting at 4:38 PM on September 11 [26 favorites]

Endless topical re-up: years ago I wrote a WCW generator as a goof and it still makes me smile.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:11 PM on September 11 [9 favorites]

The WCW generator is really fun. I'm glad it still works.

Regarding my previous post: "interred," "disinterred," whatever.
posted by eotvos at 5:15 PM on September 11

Tonight I ate ripe plums
Over the sink
They were mine
No one cared, no sorrow,
Just plums that
Won't be here tomorrow,
At least in their
Native form.
They were so tart
And sweet
And warm from the
Autumn sun. I only wish
He had eaten them,
So he could apologize to me,
And there were more
So I could watch him eat them too.
posted by Oyéah at 6:08 PM on September 11 [23 favorites]

Oyéah, that’s awesome.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:41 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]

I doubt anyone else in the world finds this fun, but the limrick thing is the most aggressive mind-worm I've encountered in years. I think I've found a new hobby. Or possibly a disease.

Mudville was losing at bat
While Casey, quite haughty, just sat.
He was called to the mound,
And he struck every round.
The band playing somewhere is flat.

On the night before Christmas, my house
Wasn't even disturbed by a mouse.
A creepy demigod
With clothing quite odd
Bumbled about as though sauced.

The ancient mariner stopped
Us before we called the cops.
His story was weird.
It featured a bird.
And slimy things crawling in slop.

There once was a crowlin ferlie.
Whose impudence protects it sairly.
In some beggar's squattle
Ye creep, sprawl, and sparttle,
We see oursels truly and rightly.

A traveler from an antique land
Obessed with big legs and sand
Uttered silly, pointless things
Oft repeating, "King of Kings."
Imagining statues quite grand.

There once was a joy forever.
A thing of beauty will never
To nothingness pass
Like a sheep or an ass
Isn't my poem quite clever?
posted by eotvos at 9:31 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]

I have heard
the tapping
that was at
my chamber door

and which
is probably
some visitor
entreating entrance

Forgive me
I was napping
and so gently
you came rapping
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:15 PM on September 12 [11 favorites]

This is just to say that I plugged the first stanza of the poem into a predictive text generator (which is linked in an article currently part of a FPP on the Blue) and got this:
this is just to say I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and iced them. If you are looking for a nice easy dessert, or just some good tasting fruit that will melt in your mouth, the Plums are the solution. Now that I have a bunch of plums in my freezer, a good deal of my winter recipes are being formulated around these plums.

I was kind of shocked when I decided to pick up some plums. I'd never picked up any plums before so I had no idea what to expect. I just grabbed some green olives from a jar and sliced a few, mixed them in a bowl with some apple juice and stirred them up. I mixed them as well then poured it all over the apple slices, the plums, the icebox and some sugar. I let it sit in the freezer for a while, stirring everything up once a week, and it became one of my new favorite winter desserts. You will probably notice that after two days the plums have wilted, which is normal and no big deal, but it was very refreshing to notice the plums ripen, which I...
posted by nubs at 2:21 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]

Last one, I promise. (With apologies for taking over the thread.) Apparently this is what I do while riding the bus now. Though Two Unicycles' WCW version is mighty tempting and more on-topic.

There once was a fellow called Khan.
China he'd recently won.
A pleasure dome
Was his stately home
Near a sea without any sun.

On the ships deck a boy stood
Midst a chaos of burning wood.
All had fled.
Instead, he said,
"Colonial empire's good."

Of the body electric I sing,
Engirthed by expressions they bring.
Their hips and their wrists,
As naked swimmers twist!
The farmer who's 80 is king.

There once were toves quite slithy,
And borigroves were mimsy.
A Beamish boy
Who killed with joy
Told lies by a tumtum tree.
posted by eotvos at 1:23 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]

Many bushels of plums for canning
One for me. One for the basket
Two for me. Three for... Oh most of these
Led to a carpet cleaner.
posted by clavdivs at 3:42 PM on September 13

I also use this poem in one of my college classes, and think about Metafilter every time.
posted by ilana at 6:02 PM on September 15

Hi everyone, sorry for taking so long to get back to you with these. I got the poems back from the students today, and wow, some of them are absolutely wonderful, and I'm honestly a little at a loss for words at how happy their efforts have made me. I'm going to throw some of them down below, I hope you like them.

This is just to say

I have forgot
the fantastic poem
that was in my mind

and which you were
probably longing to read

Forgive me it was marvelous
A masterpiece
which is all a lie

This is just to say

I forgot to bring my math homework
that was due today

and which you probably
don't even care about
at all

Forgive me
I needed a topic
to finish
this homework.

This is just to say

I have watched
Heath Ledger
in the Dark Knight

for which
he rightly
deserved the Oscar

Forgive me
Jared Leto
your performance
was a tragedy.

This is just to say

I have broken the promise
to be back
by twelve o'clock

which, if I fail to do
the spell
will be broken

Forgive me
the party was glorious
so wonderful
and so sorrowful.

This is just to say

I have used
the towel
that was on the
towel bar

and which you were
probably hanging out
to dry

Forgive me
it was so comfortable
so warm
and so absorbent.

And a couple that, while they didn't quite follow the pattern as such, but were still pretty awesome.

This is just to say

I ate all the apples on the
tree in your yard

Forgive me
I thought they were red balloons
I tried to pop all of them.

This is just to say

I have bought apples
that were sold
at the store
and which
are covered with

Remember them.
After dinner
let's eat
the sweet apples.

I'm not going to lie, this is up there among the best parts of roughly 15 years of teaching. Thanks for all the support, and for being a place that not only inspired me to give this a try, but was so enthusiastic about it.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:51 AM on September 18 [17 favorites]

The Heath Ledger one is particularly amusing.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:43 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

Ghidorah, those are fantastic - thanks for sharing, and thank your students!
posted by nubs at 7:41 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

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