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This Is Just To Say

This Is Just To Say

by William Carlos Williams

The Home Theme

Though we don't see much about the speaker's family or home, "This Is Just To Say" takes place in a kitchen, and we can presume it takes place between two people who live together. In fact, we might think of this poem as a simple reflection on the way that, in a home, people's lives can overlap. One person eats something of the other's and apologizes. These little everyday things end up contributing to the bonds of a home in a big way.

Questions About The Home

  1. Does this poem remind you of anything that happens in your home? How is it different from or similar to the poem?
  2. What do you think this home looks like? Start with what you think the kitchen looks like, and work outwards. Is it a big house, a modest house? Use your imagination. 
  3. Do you think this poem takes place in a happy home? A sad one? A lonely one? Why? 
  4. What specific parts of this poem make you think about home?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The domestic life in this poem is an unhappy one. Why can't the speaker just apologize to the other person's face?

The poem shows that the speaker is plumb in love with the person with whom he lives. Pardon the pun.

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