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Poems of Apology

"this is just to say" that I hope
you forgive me...sort of

Student Writer Instructions:

Joyce Sidman is a pretty amazing teacher!  In her collection of poems, This is Just to Say, the author has her students write apology poems to various people, and those people, in turn, write responses back to the students. She had them use the rhythm scheme found in the original poem as a model, then they were free to create their own poem. 

Today you'll be writing a poem in a similar way, but with topics that are personal to you.  You can write an apology poem, like Sidman does, but you also can write about being forgiven, using this technique.

The first step is to make a list of five things that you want to apologize for. What did you do that you fell sorry for, or if someone else got blamed for something you did, that could be the topic of your poem. Then next to each item, write down the name or names of the person you are writing this to.

When you've chosen the topic and the person for whom it is to be written, write it (or some of it) the top of a piece of paper.  Then plan what you are going to write in each section. In the first section, describe what you did or said. Did you break a window, take a cookie, or were you mean to your best friend? Then in the second section, describe why this was important to that person. Were they saving this item for later, was it a family heirloom, or is it just a part of them or their personality? In the last section, you will write your apology. You want to describe how you feel and reflect on how that person must feel after this incident happened. Are they still mad at you, did they have to replace the item, or is this the first time they will hear of this incident?   

Finally, at the bottom of the poem write your name.  The first button is a list of verbs. The second button below might give you ideas for fun topics to write about.

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

This is Just to Say
by Joyce Sidman

Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.


Ideas for your apology poems:

"I am sorry that I...



Feel free to think of your own reason to apologize, if you can't find one you like here.


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