Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Persimmon, Persimmon

{The Beautiful Fruit of Modest Flavor}

Forgive the silence. I've been writing, but not on the blog (clearly). I'm happily spent for words after staying up until 3am the past two nights working on a grant proposal. So, armed with a noon cup of coffee I give you this two-stanza haiku, which by nature of being two stanzas precludes it from being a real haiku anymore, but alas, I wasn't clever enough to fit it all in seventeen syllabals. Un-haiku below, but first, a quick disclaimer:

I bought a clutch of persimmons from the Joshua Tree farmer's market on Saturday. They were so enchanting, all gloucous and orange, with their little felted caps and smooth skin the color of the desert gloaming. I couldn't help myself; I bought as many as I could clasp against my chest, which I did, delicately, with the sensuous delight as if they were goose eggs. I coveted them and marveled at their beauty. And then I bit into one. Oh, persimmon, how lovely you are to gaze upon, but lest I forget: your flavor's as wan as your skin is handsome. I know some of you might cry blasphemy, but as marvelous-looking as they are I'm always struck by guilty disappointment when I bite into one. Perhaps I cannot get past the sponginess. I feel as if I've been duped by a sweet, fibrous tomato, minus the zing. I hope you'll forgive me for my shortcomings. Un-haiku below.


persimmon glowing
how delicious you appear
october jewel

o beguiling fruit
une tomate in finer clothes
your secret is out


  1. ah yes. I fell for their sumptuous appearance once...

  2. You stinker!! I have been working on a blog post that would have been called "persimmon, parsimony" that will now probably never see the light of day.

    I adore persimmons.

  3. Love your un-haiku, and your photos are divine!

    Li-Young Lee has a really great poem called "Persimmons." One of my favorites by him. I think you can probably google it.

    xo Gigi

  4. I have never actually tried a persimmon before!

  5. I never saw a persimmon before I moved to Sacramento, California, and they are now one of my favorite fruits, period. I like them better than apples.

    So, Yes! I will gladly consume the whole of your underappreciated bounty. I've already devoured the six that I bought at the market.


  6. In our country wee call it kaki:-) and it's delicious for making jam and all sorts of desserts.

  7. Dear Lily,

    I recently had a similar farmer's market persimmon experience. Luckily, the cats absolutely loved it. They chewed on that poor fruit for a good week.

    It looks like you had a great show! Congratulations. Cailin


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