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Persimmons," a Light in the Darkness
"Persimmons" is a free verse poem written by Li-Young Lee that explores how persimmons as a symbol, both figurative and as a word, have impacted an unnamed narrator in the poem. The poem is told from a first person perspective and relies heavily on the memories invoked by the fruit. The poem does not follow a linear storyline, but rather jumps around as the narrator recounts different events, following a stream of consciousness type of narrative flow. Through the persimmon, the narrator is able to recount past experiences and explore his personal identity.
The poem begins with the narrator's recollection of how he was first introduced to the word persimmon, a fruit which he was previously familiar with due to his Chinese background. The memory appears to be a negative one as the narrator was punished by his sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Walker, for…… [Read More]
Poet Li-Young Lee has written a noteworthy poem called "Persimmons," published in 1986 in a collection of poems called Rose. The poem gives the reader a serious glance into part of the life of a second-generation Asian-American who encountered troubling cultural challenges along the way. The poem speaks to how Asian-Americans were treated and were misunderstood during the time Lee lived in Pennsylvania. It also speaks to the difficulty of language for a newcomer to English and to the United States. The point-of-view is presented by a creative person who wishes to expose life's push and pull, life's unfairness, juxtaposed with life's sweetness (as symbolized with the sweet meat of the persimmon) from the time he was in 6th grade through adulthood. Thesis: the principal theme in this poem is not just personal from the perspective of Lee; it is universal and it has happened to people from Ireland,…… [Read More]
So it isn't just about sex, it's about love and appreciation.
Readers know the poet is watching because Donna's stomach is white. That is different from an Asian's skin color, and the imagery here appeals to the senses because the two cultures are lying "naked, face-up, face-down" and maybe, just maybe, he can teach her some Chinese ("Ni, wo") while the two are about to engage in physical romance.
Irony is part of the stanza in which the poet reminds his readers that while the teacher seems smart enough to bring a non-ripened persimmon to class (which the poet doesn't try to eat because he knows it isn't sweet enough), the poet knows a thing or two about persimmons. Indeed, his mom gave him really good advice by saying that persimmons have the sun inside them, "...something golden, glowing, warm as my face." He may have been punished for mispronouncing…… [Read More]
/This desire, perfection./Your closed eyes my extinction./Now I've forgotten my/idea.... (Lee, 2002, This Room and Everything in it)
Each work demonstrates how easy it is to become complacent about the mundane character of even the most sincere of emotional expression, that of sensual love and then makes an attempt to etch something that is essential to life into memory, as Lee was taught to do by his father. Lee, as a child gave riper persimmons to his father and the persimmons became a tool of symbolism for the child, as he grew to a man;
Finally understanding/he was going blind,/my father sat up all one night waiting for a song, a ghost./I gave him the persimmons,/swelled, heavy as sadness,/and sweet as love. (Lee, 2002, Persimmons)
The poignant memory of a young boy offering his father a consoling gift of two now ripened persimmons that he had found in the cellar,…… [Read More]
Race in Poetry
A Topic of Constant Relevance
The importance of race in the United States is discussed on many levels, from nightly newscasts to political campaigns to courtrooms. It is the conversation that never ends in this nation. The particulars change, a little, but the cadence is the same, and the sorrows are the same, and the regrets and anger persist. It seems likely that in a thousand years (if there is an America in a thousand years) that our national dialogue will still be about race. This paper examines a set of poems that take up the issue of race.
While poetry is hardly likely to be the first thing that one thinks of when seeking to understand race in America, the two poems analyzes here both make trenchant points about what it is like to be a person of color in the United States. This paper analyzes…… [Read More]
Billy Collins' poem is a lyric poem because mainly it expresses highly personal emotions and feelings. Many lyric poems involve musical themes or tones, and in fact in Shakespeare's era the word "lyric" meant that the poem was accompanied by a musical instrument (a lyre). But while Collins' poem doesn't give off a musical idea or theme (unless the sound of a fork scratching across a granite table is music), it does use metaphor and achieves a dramatic impact.
The metaphor has two people, presumably married and in a love partnership who have divorced. (It is known that although un-married couples who have been together for a long time and break up are also involved essentially in a "divorce" of their partnership.) The metaphor of "two spoons" shows two people locked together, snuggling would be a good word, in a warm bed. "Tined" means prongs on a fork -- or…… [Read More]
For example, the word "ring" connotes a wedding ring and it also refers more directly to the "ring of boots" at her feet. The word "lifted" also has a double meaning, one literal and one metaphorical. The mother remembers literally lifting her baby boy in the bathtub, but she contemplates how he is being "lifted" or stolen by his fiance. Her baby boy is leaving her. The word "bedded" also connotes two different things, suggesting both sex but also finality as she describes the feeling wedding ring being permanently em-bedded on a person's finger.
6. The first stanza of Agha Shahid Ali's poem "Postcard from Kashmir" is filled with hope and optimism, delivered mainly by the word "neat." Written from a youthful perspective, the word "neat" is often used as slang like the word "cool" is. Moreover, the word "neat" is used to described his humble yet poor home. The…… [Read More]
I do not use a pattern to design these sacred baskets. My grandmother and my mother taught me the skills to construct them, how to doubleweave a flexible basket-within-a-basket with a single common rim, for example, but the actual design comes from listening to the cane itself. It speaks to me as it moves through my hands. It tells me what it wants to be, how it wants to be shaped, what is will be used for.
It is not the first time this has happened. Stands of cane all around us have been destroyed. The white settlers do not understand Cherokee ways, and they think women's work is unimportant. I overheard one say not long ago to another white man that Cherokee "squaws" are "beasts of burden" because we do the farming work. I could tell by his tone of voice he was ridiculing us. The white settlers don't…… [Read More]
Angelou's book "I Know why the Caged Bird Sings' was written, according to its author, to serve as a certain purpose and this purpose can be glimpsed in its language. As the poet and critic Opla Moore (1999) remarked, the Caged Bird was intended to demonstrate, at a time, when these issues were just beginning to come into that open and when Blacks were still struggling for recognition, that rape and racism does exist in America and that out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy not only exists but must be recognized as not always the fault of the teenager and often due to other reasons that may be reducible to the state and church itself. Angelou uses poetic and vivid language to shake the very foundations of the reader's stereotypes and narrative way of construing his or her world by shaking conventional platitudes with the discomfiting reality of disruptive factors and introducing these…… [Read More]
WET & DRY COUNTIES IN KENTUCKY as of 10/22/09
Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control www.abc.ky.gov
Virginia Vanaman Davis
u n ty
u n ty
u n ty
001 ADAIR DRY 041 GRANT 3 -- LIMITED 081 MASON WET
002 ALLEN DRY 042 GRAVES LIMITED & GOLF 082 MEADE WET
003 ANDERSON WET 043 GRAYSON DRY 083 MENIFEE DRY
004 BALLARD DRY 044 GREEN DRY 084 MERCER LIMITED & QHS
005 BARREN 2-LIMITED 045 GREENUP LIMITED 085 METCALFE DRY
006 BATH DRY 046 HANCOCK DRY 086 MONROE DRY
007 BELL LIMITED 047 HARDIN 2- LIM &
GOLF 087 MONTGOMERY MOIST
008 BOONE WET 048 HARLAN MOIST 088 MORGAN DRY
009 BOURBON WET 049 HARRISON WET 089 MUHLENBERG MOIST
010 BOYD M & LIMITED 050 HART DRY 090 NELSON WET
011 BOYLE LIM & W & G -2 051 HENDERSON WET 091…… [Read More]
Also, many counties public pension pogams and/o pensions fo public employees ae inceasingly in peil. The United States is anothe example of that with public pensions getting moe and moe insolvent and thei Social Secuity and Medicae pogams hemohaging money quite quickly with many pundits saying that the pogams will un out of money in 1-3 decades at best. Othe counties like Canada and much of Euope ae having much the same poblem in thei own ways.
Howeve, this study does have a lot going fo it. Fist, they did the study ove an entie decade and they suveyed a lot of people fo the study. Thee wee 25,000 esponses and about 4,500 wee included in the final esults accoding to the "what you should know" section on the fist page of the aticle. The time hoizon and the size of the study ae both vey good in tems of…… [Read More]