Thursday, March 22, 2012

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

William Carlos Williams

I love William Carlos Williams. I think his adage 'no ideas but in things' taught me the most I know about writing. Be specific. Observe. Notice the small things.

I also like plums.

Yesterday I cooked some plums, and had them cold with home-made yoghurt and custard.

They were quite sour, but very delicious.

The best plum jam I've ever made wasn't very pretty, as the pale, mottled skins didn't colour the mix, so the jam was a muddy yellow. But it tasted delicious - which shows that you can't just go by appearances alone.
I've been looking for plums like those ever since, and failed to find them.


  1. i love william carlos williams. i also love plums!

    adam ford wrote a silly and excellent little response to this poem. you can see it here, if you want:

    apparently there are now some stewed nectarines in my fridge. i look forward to eating them tomorrow with yoghurt and muesli.

  2. thanks for the link, kate - love his response - much chuckling here in the attic... i've also noticed in yr blog and here that you seem to be eschewing capital letters - i like it and think i shall follow suit

  3. sometimes there is just no time for capital letters. why waste time with the shift key!

    (unless having no capitals causes confusion, ie. the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse. please excuse my crassness, but even then...hilarious!)

  4. I hate the shift key, but i'm habituated to it. And kate, if you can't be crass in the attic, where can you be? - besides hardly anyone comes here - especially men, whose delicate ears are more likely to be offended.