Friday, September 28, 2007

Poetry Friday--This is Just to Say

This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness
By Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
Houghton Mifflin, 2007

William Carlos Williams inspires a lot of new poems. His poems are used by Miss Stretchberry in Sharon Creech’s Love that Dog. Nancie Atwell uses Williams’ poems as good models for her students in her writing workshops. And it turns out, that Mr. Williams inspired another book—This is Just to Say. His poem, “This is Just to Say” was the catalyst for this particular book by the same title.

Joyce Sidman uses the idea of students writing poems of forgiveness to someone. Each poem is written by a fictional student who is asking forgiveness of someone else. The first part of the book contains the poems of forgiveness. The second part of the book includes the responses. The recipients of the first poems write poems in return.

The poems of apology run the gamut of the small things to the real, big, heart-wrenching things. And it’s so much like real life. Sometimes we feel horrible about even the little things and sometimes the much bigger things weigh on our consciences. I can’t wait to do this with my students on a “Poetry Friday.”

I loved this book of poems because it truly feels like an anthology written by different poets. All of the poets have different emotions and styles. But they were all written by one poet—Joyce Sidman. The illustrations also make this poetry collection come alive. Zagarenski’s playful people and mixed media illustrations help create the feeling of different poets’ voices.

I leave you with the poem that started it all:

This is Just to Say
By William Carlos Williams

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.

Poetry Friday Roundup is over at AmoXcalli

1 comment:

Cloudscome said...

I found this poem today hanging on the fridge in the school kitchen. Our sixth graders have been posting their favorites all over the school. There is such depth and complexity in this simple poem.