Comparison Essay written to compare the two poems "Persimmons" and "I Go Back to 1937".

Essay by lorikbryantCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2002

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The collision of two worlds and cultures coming together creates turmoil and confusion for many. With an autobiographical nature, that is the feeling a reader gets when encountering the poems "Persimmons" by Li-Young Lee and "I Go Back to May 1937" by Sharon Olds. "Persimmons" is a story of two cultures coming together in the life of one person. Lee came from a Chinese heritage and grew up in Indonesia and later the United States (Li-Young Lee?Academy of American Poets). Initially, Li-Young Lee was unfamiliar with the English language. The English language is said to be the hardest language to learn, and yet he conquered it and has taught in many universities and colleges since he came to the United States (Li-Young Lee?Academy of American Poets). Sharon Olds was born in San Francisco and now resides in New York City (Sharon Olds?Academy of American Poets). Olds was born and lived in the United States, inheriting the culture naturally. On the other hand, Lee had to learn the hard way about American society along with the difficulties of the English language.

The authors of these two poems felt out-of-place and at odds with their surroundings during their childhoods. In the poem "Persimmons" the author explains how he was from a foreign country and did not know the English terms for certain things. The author could tell you exactly what a persimmon was, how to care for it, how to tell when it is ripe, the proper way to eat it, and what not to do with one and yet he did not know the correct English term for the fruit. The author of the poem "I Go Back to May

1937" describes feeling out of place as she...