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Analysis of the poem Persimmons by Li-Young Lee

Project id 1000197
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 3484
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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. Walker
slapped the back of my head
and made me stand in the corner
for not knowing the difference
between 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 one
will 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, eat
the 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 class
and cut it up
so everyone could taste
a Chinese apple. Knowing
it wasn’t ripe or sweet, I didn’t eat
but watched the other faces.

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

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