One of the Persimmon

November 2, 2011

Most noble patron,
you’ll have to forgive me
for I ate one the persimmons.
There were six, but one
was a little bruised and I knew you wanted
the picture to be perfect,
a sort of balance of brush strokes
and paint and persimmon,
like that famous painting by Mu Qi,
and I know you think perfection
is an illusion found in art alone, but…
it could have been a passage to another
dimension, a wormhole past death,
that persimmon.


3 Responses to “One of the Persimmon”

  1. John Stevens Says:

    I’m glad you think it’s worth a try. Good luck – I shall be very interested to learn how you get on.
    Penelope : yes, I suppose many poets have done a fair bit of re-weaving – Yeats for instance – if not quite to the extent that this simile implies!

  2. extrasimile Says:

    Interesting. I don’t know if I’m going to like the end result of this, but I definitely like the process. It’s long been my contention that one could write and rewrite the same poem—Penelope-like, as it were—weaving a new version every day. Knowing when to stop is a serious issue. My initial impulse was to keep the Persimmon piece conversational and ‘fresh’—in contrast to the Word Witch, which is worked and labored and artificial. (The danger is that ‘stale’ will apply as well). After all, what can be more against nature, what can be more inorganic, than a ‘word witch’?
    Let me fool around with your suggestions and let’s see what we come up with.

  3. John Stevens Says:

    I love the idea here Jim, including the allusion to WCW’s minimalist poem which seems very appropriate given the austere simplicity of the Mu Qi painting. I relish the witticism of the play on the bruised fruit in the painting which raises all sorts of questions about why we recognise the painting as being even better with the one misshapen and displaced persimmon than it would be with five perfect forms – plus the sudden rush towards a wormhole in space and time (and the painting, from China’s deep past, takes us to another place and time instantly – so brilliant!).
    I have an idea though: why not prune the lines a little bit more? It’s already a short and simple poem, and conversational like WCW, but wouldn’t it be even more striking if you reduced the number of lines by one or two?
    eg drop the 1st and last lines – do they add enough to earn their keep?
    And perhaps remove one or two words here and there for greater brevity – eg just “one was […] bruised and […] you wanted” or just “a […] balance of brush strokes”. I don’t know exactly – but the same austerity as in the Mu Qi and the WCW poem?
    You won’t misunderstand me I know. I think this is a beautiful and clever poem, which reverberates in the mind – but you could take it a step or two further.
    (I haven’t had the chance to read the Word Witch yet but will do so).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: