SUBJECT AREA Arts entertainment
CREATED ON 17th November 2017

Analysis of the poem Persimmons by Li-Young Lee

The speaker at Li-Young Lee's poem "Persimmons" was clearly increased into a bi-lingual, bi-cultural atmosphere. His adventures, but not entirely optimistic, have helped him grow into the man he is today. By employing sensory imagery and "exact" diction along with the informal stanza structure, the speaker shows the reader that, regardless of his bi-cultural ago, he now has realized, due to his own adventures, that some of the most essential things are not "visible" and that he is indeed pleased with his own ethnicity.

The poem begins with a painful memory from the speaker sixth grade classroom in which he was hit on the mind and managed to sit at the corner for not understanding the distinction between the two words "persimmon" and "precision." Instantly the speaker's attitude is that of confusion:

In sixth grade Mrs. Walkerslapped the back of my headand made me stand in the cornerfor not knowing the differencebetween persimmon and precision.

The next stanza, but proves that he does in fact know the difference between both words. The speaker shows his understanding of "precision" at deciding on the diction to describe the best way to select and consume a persimmon.

...How to choose

persimmons. This is precision.Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.Sniff the bottoms. The sweet onewill be fragrant. How to eat:put the knife away, lay down newspaper.Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.Chew the skin, suck it,and swallow. Now, eatthe meat of the fruit,so sweet,all of it, to the heart.

The voice "soft," "sweet," "sniff," "suck," and also "consume" all awake one's senses. The alliteration further proves the speaker's "precision." The speaker then leaves the reader with a feeling of satisfaction after having clarified how to "peel the skin tenderly, not to rip the meat" of this persimmon. The speaker's attitude, like the reader, is shown here is that of gratification, too. Although he endured through rocky situations before because of his bi-cultural upbringing, he's demonstrated that he's overcome those experiences by minding his current understanding of the gap between "persimmon" and "precision."

Mrs. Walker brought a persimmon to classand cut it upso everyone could tastea Chinese apple. Knowingit wasn’t ripe or sweet, I didn’t eatbut watched the other faces.

The following stanza further proves he has overcome his...

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