The Best, and Most Literary, Icebox Plums Jokes From Twitter

This may be the internet’s most English-major meme

William Carlos Williams’ poem “This Is Just to Say” has always somehow lent itself to parody. (See Kenneth Koch’s “Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams”: “We laughed at the hollyhocks together / and then I sprayed them with lye. / Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.”) But never has that parody been more relentless than on Twitter, where every so often people just pick up the poem and run with it. The current iteration of this meme seems especially widespread and frenetic, perhaps because of the increase in Twitter’s character limit (or perhaps because of the increase in Twitter’s Nazis; we could all use a little break). And, to bring extra joy to our book-nerd hearts, many of the jokes are quite erudite.

Perhaps the best, or at least the most crowd-pleasing, examples of this meme integrate Williams’ 83-year-old poem with modern pop culture in a way that seems weirdly seamless. (Yes, all of these examples of “modern” pop culture are from 2000 or earlier, deal with it.)

In recognition of the upcoming season, there have also been some catchy holiday tunes:

But our favorites are the ones that reference other poets and novelists, or even William Carlos Williams himself:

But for real literary insider points, if you want to get a meme started, please note:

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