This Poem About Plums In An Icebox Has Become An Inexplicably Viral Meme

In 1934, upon writing his poem “This Is Just To Say,” William Carlos Williams could not have known that his words would be immortalized 83 years later in a viral meme sweeping Twitter (three words which he would not have recognized). He could not have guessed that his simple poem would be reworked and distributed by thousands as a welcome distraction from a rushed and polarizing tax bill and a never-ending stream of high-profile sexual assault cases.

No, Williams could not have known — but the randomness of his poem about plums in an icebox being lauded as 2017’s latest meme is part of its effervescent charm.

Here is Williams’ famous poem about admitting guilt for eating plums:

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

The internet has latched onto the charming, sugary-sweet simplicity of Williams’ words with all the hunger and ferocity of — well, Williams… eating delicious, sweet and cold plums. The words “plums” and “icebox” have been plugged into songs from Smash Mouth to Fall Out Boy to Eminem and the meme shows no signs of fading away anytime soon.

Many are baffled by the popularity of the meme — and more still have questions about the original poem, like how plums should be eaten and what this poem has done to plum statistics.

Still, as a society — we need this.

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