Persimmons Poem Essay Outline

When you attempt to find a solution to any kind of problem, it is best to look at it from different perspectives. When two poems focus on a common theme with the same familial relationships, different points of view must certainly give great insight on the topic at hand. For instance, in "Persimmons" and "Pause", the reader can clearly understand the vast love in the child-father relationship within each poem. "Persimmons" is told from the perspective of the child in the relationship, which goes on early in the start of the poem (e.g. the first stanza) to reveal some of his past experiences, experiences we can use to better understand his relationship with the father. The author conveys a mood of pleasant nostalgia to the reader, reminiscing on the warmth that his father cast on him. Comparable to "Persimmons", "Pause" speaks from the perspective of a father towards the subject of his daughter.

The father in "Pause" recalls memories of his daughter on a winter morning, as he waits for her at the bus stop (lines 10 and 21). The author definitively describes every moment as if every second he spends with his daughter is history in the making. The author is a man who loves his life and embraces life's unfolding events (line 20, "intrusions of love and disaster") which is parallel to the tone of the author in "Persimmons" who soaks up the wise words of his father and never looks negatively upon the events that formed his life.

The intense imagery surrounding "Persimmons" is unmistakable. Imagery reaches out at us to appeal to all the senses we use everyday in our lives. It is this sense of realism that gives imagery such power over the reader. In...


In the poem, persimmons are a symbol of several elements that have figured importantly in this Chinese narrator's life: they stand for painful memories of cultural barriers imposed by language and custom, and for a present-day loving connection to an elderly, blind father. The poet begins with a schoolboy incident in which he was punished for not knowing the difference between "persimmon" and "precision" and makes a play on other words which sound similar and "that got [him] into trouble." He takes revenge later, when the teacher brings to class a persimmon that only the narrator knows is unripe, as he "watched the . . . faces" without participating. Persimmons remind him of an adult sensual relationship with Donna, a Caucasian woman, and of his attempts to teach her Chinese words which he himself can no longer remember.

The second part of the poem describes the role persimmons have played in his father's life and in their relationship. To comfort his father, gone blind, the narrator gives him a sweet, ripe persimmon, so full and redolent with flavor that it will surely stimulate the senses remaining. Later yet again, the father and he "feel" a silk painting of persimmons, "painted blind / Some things never leave a person."

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