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Persimmons Essay

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Below is an essay on "Persimmons" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The “Persimmons” by Li-Young Lee is a poem mainly about the author’s experience and emotion as an Asian American poet. Throughout the poem, the author’s memories from different time and space scatter around the motif of persimmons. These discontinuous fragments of memories are about the culture conflicts between American and Chinese culture that were experienced by the author. The memories are also about the deep affection between the author and his parents. It is an interestingly and beautifully written poem. I can feel some humor, some sadness, and some warmness inside it. There was an incident in the author’s six grade that he was slapped the back of his head (Lee) by his teacher Mrs. Walker because he could not distinguish between the two words persimmon and precision. In America, foreign students are sometimes despised because they are not good at English language. The motif of the poem is persimmons. The author develops the poem around persimmons to express his thoughts and emotions. In this essay, I will analyze this poem with respect to its theme of culture conflicts and family affection, and the motif of persimmons to show how they together make the poem a good one.
This poem’s first theme is the culture conflicts between American culture and Chinese culture. The poem begins with the incident that the author, in his sixth grade, was slapped the back of his head and “made stand in the corner” by his teacher “for not knowing the difference between the persimmon and precision” (Lee). But the American teacher did not know that there is actually a connection between persimmon and precision in Chinese culture. In the second stanza of the poem, the author explains thoroughly about this connection, which is how to choose a persimmon is precision: “Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted. Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one will be fragrant.”(Lee) The other words that the author had troubles with were “fight and fright” because “fight was what I did when I was...

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