P is for Poetry and Persimmons
How did I come up with this topic? Last night I had a confused dream in which Persephone appeared presenting me with a bowl of fruit. I assumed they would be pomegranates because of the connection to her tale, but instead they were persimmons.
And so I’ve been thinking about persimmons today. First to mind came Li-Young Lee’s wonderful poem entitled Persimmons. I invite you to head over here to read it, with the caveat that it does contain a mention of love-making. If such a thing offends the sensibilities of any visiting reader, do of course skip it. But I hope you don’t as it is a very lovely poem indeed.
April IS national poetry month and so I certainly think it’s appropriate and fun to celebrate with a mention of a poem about persimmons. And a poem that feels to me very much like it holds and celebrates the energy of our beloved Fool, who is after all traveling with us this month.
As much as I love the poem, I equally love the work of Artist Susan Angebranndt of Green Chair Press. She has created a limited-edition artist book using Lee’s poem and French-knot braille. Fabulous! Do take a peek.
Isn’t this persimmon gorgeous?
Japanese brush painting from the 1800s – image in public domain
I think perhaps persimmons are a perfect fruit to be appreciated by Fool. The heart-shaped Hachiya persimmons require patience – to eat them before they perfectly ripen and soften means the astringent tannins produce a mouth-puckering, not-all-that-delightful experience. The non-astringent type of persimmons, like Fuyu don’t require that perfect timing for indulgence, but the trade-off is the texture is different and more crisp like apples.
And I think Fool perhaps would be amused by the weather-predicting capabilities of persimmons. It’s long been held that cutting open a seed from a locally-grown persimmon and checking out the shape of the kernel inside can indicate what kind of winter is in store. If the kernel is shaped like a spoon it means lots of wet heavy snow. Shaped like a knife means icy, cold, and cutting winds. And fork-shaped means a mild winter.
So there you have it – a romp with Fool through poetry and persimmons. What do you think? Have a persimmon tree or tempted to grow one? Love poetry and celebrate National Poetry Month? Ready to base your winter wardrobe selection on a persimmon prediction? Do tell – you know I love to hear.