Sunday, December 9, 2007


12/8. Persimmon, oil on linen panel, 4x4 in. SOLD

Why have I been repeating the title under each piece when it's already titled at the top? Who knows.... I think I've only ever tasted a persimmon when I was a kid. This one is of the Israeli "Sharon" variety, classified under the most common species (Diospyros kaki) that includes the widely grown Japanese "hachiya" and other types. A related persimmon variety is the Diospyros lotus, or "date-plum," which to the ancient Greeks was called the fruit of the gods, according to Wikipedia - Dios pyros, lit. "the wheat of Zeus" - and (this is one of several theories) it is the fruit mentioned in that brief scene of the Odyssey, in which Odysseus and his men

landed in the country of the Lotus-Eaters, who live on a flowering food, and there we set foot on the mainland ... then I sent some of my companions ahead, telling them to find out what men, eaters of bread, might live here in this country.... My men went on and presently met the Lotus-Eaters ... But any of them who ate the honey-sweet fruit of lotus was unwilling to take any message back, or to go away, but they wanted to stay there with the lotus-eating people, feeding on lotus, and forget the way home. [Translated by Richmond Lattimore.]

Odysseus "took these men back weeping, by force," to the ship and tied them up under the rowing benches before getting the heck out of there. (Then came the mess with the Cyclopes.) So my persimmon isn't this "lotus" type, but I found it all very interesting.

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