This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness

This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, July 26


When Mrs. Merz asks her sixth grade class to write poems of apology, they end up liking their poems so much that they decide to put them together into a book. Not only that, but they get the people to whom they apologized to write poems back.

In haiku, pantoums, two-part poems, snippets, and rhymes, Mrs. Merz’s class writes of crushes, overbearing parents, loving and losing pets, and more. Some poets are deeply sorry; some not at all. Some are forgiven; some are not. In each pair of poems a relationship, a connection, is revealed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544105072
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 02/25/2014
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 599,642
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Joyce Sidman received a Newbery Honor for Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night. She lives in Wayzata, Minnesota. Visit her website at

Pamela Zagarenski received a Caldecott Honor for Red Sings from the Treetops: A Year in Colors, by Joyce Sidman. She lives in Stonington, Connecticut. 

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
mommymoore More than 1 year ago
This book was an unexpected delight. The story is a collection of poems. The opening explains that a teacher has asked each student to write a poem as a way of apologizing to someone. The poems range from the humorous to the touching. The apologies are followed by the responses which are also poems. They model a variety of poem styles from haiku to free form. This is a great book for introducing students to a wide variety of poetry forms in a unique way. This book is also a great way to approach character building--treating others with respect and seeing situations from different points of view.
beckystandal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ages 9 and Up - Based on her own experiences as a teacher, poet Joyce Sidman writes these 'poems of apology and forgiveness' through the eyes of a fictional sixth grade class and those they are apologizing to. As part of their poetry unit, Mrs. Merz's sixth-grade class writes 'Sorry' poems inspired by William Carlos Williams' classic poem 'This is Just to Say.' One student, Anthony, has the idea to get responses and publish them in a book. Divided into two sections, first the apologies and then the responses, the poems vary from silly (Sorry, / Reubs, / for belting you / as hard / as I could / in dodge ball / I'd like / to say / I wouldn't / do it again / but I'd / be lying) to heartbreaking (Please, please come back. / Don't leave me spinning alone, / like a slow, sad, tornado. / I'm sorry, Daddy. / Next time I'll be / perfect). They are between children and parents, students and teachers, friends, siblings, pet-owners and those writing on behalf of pets.The book is brightly illustrated in mixed media on paper, canvas, and wood, collage, and computer graphics, which gives the book a kind-of scrapbook or altered book feel. This style lends itself to the idea that the book was created by children.My one complaint is that the book and the reviews I had read before reading it don't make it clear that these poems are not actually written by a sixth-grade class. You can learn this by reading the flap about the author and by noting that the polished style and sensitive subjects aren't typical for assignments from sixth-graders.Recommended for upper elementary, middle school, and public library poetry collections.
rachelsticka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I would love to create one of these books in my own classroom. Children would have an opportunity to write to whomever they wanted, then asking the person to respond to their apology. This isn't only beneficial to children's learning of poetry, but their relationships with other people.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At first, I was shocked to see the Bluebonnet committee had nominated two books of poetry this year. Two books of poetry! Then I reconsidered this idea¿Why not? If you can have almost half your choices be realistic fiction, why not have two books of poetry? I was moderately interested in the idea behind this book, stories told using a poem of apology and a response poem.
klordy66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Use for all elementary grade levels. Younger children will be introduced to different reasons for apologizing and vocabulary to use when you need to apologize. Older children will be amused by the apologies and can learn about different types of poems. This book is a compilation of student-written apologies by Mrs. Merz's sixth-grade class, who read William Carlos Williams's poem "This Is Just To Say" for inspiration. The second part of the book is people's responses to the students' apologies. Addresses feelings of sorrow, knowing when you've done wrong, apologizing. Use in younger classrooms for read aloud and independent reading. Good for a lesson on how to apologize to somebody and reasons for apologizing. In older classrooms, discuss all different types of poems (haiku, rhymes, snippets, etc.) and have students write their own apology poem in their favorite type of poem. Publishing a class book is a great way to cover a whole poetry unit.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This collection of poetry is written as if by a classroom full of kids. Mrs. Mertz's class read the poem "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams and then decided to write their own "I'm sorry" poems. They collected the poems along with response poems and illustrations in this book. The first half of the book is apology poems and the second half is the response poems. The poems include apologies for digging into the fresh-baked brownies early, stealing donuts from the school office, turning in a friend who set off the fire alarms, making a rude remark about a teacher's outfit, and failing to do well on a school spelling bee (along with many others). My favorite thing is that you can choose to read all the apologies and then all the responses or you could flip back and forth and read apology, response, apology, response. Bright, eye-catching illustrations round out this interesting book of poems. It's a mix of funny and sad. Perhaps it will inspire kids to write their own poems (of apology or anything else!). What a fun class project this would be, too...
mossing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Mrs. Merz's class writes apology poems for an assignment, they like them so much that they decide to make them into a book. Each poet gives his or her poem to the addressee in hopes of getting a response, which they include in the second part of the book. Some of the students are sincerely sorry; others aren't remorseful. Illustrated with a pastel-toned combination of drawings and computer illustration, the poems are touching and funny, easily relatable by children of all ages. Ages 8-12. Recommended purchase.
pacifickle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, it is no surprise that it was chosen as a Texas Bluebonnet Award recipient. Have you ever read that apologetic poem by William Carlos Williams called "This is Just to Say?" If not, let me paste it for you here:"I have eatenthe plumsthat were inthe iceboxand whichyou were probablysavingfor breakfastForgive methey were deliciousso sweetand so cold."Beautiful, no? Well, a school class, after studying this poem, decided to write their own versions, apologizing to someone and righting a wrong. Well, to their surprise, they got replies! Well-crafted, hilarious, beautiful replies! This poems and their replies are fabulous. A great read, and I would imagine a fun way to get kids interested in poetry.
laurieleewalsh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The illustrations in this book are cute and quirky and will really appeal to kids. The illustrations look like they were sketched on pages ripped out of a notebook. There¿s a section for ¿Apologies¿ and another for ¿Responses¿. According to the introduction, the poems were written by sixth-graders and the ¿responses¿ poems were actually written in response to the apology poems. I think that this book would appeal to students just because kids wrote them! Also, it¿s really hard to apologize with grace and maybe this book would help youngsters (and adults!) apologize. Cute. Cute. It would be fun to replicate this exercise in my class. (Curse word alert: ¿pissed off¿ on page 33)