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11 April 2007

Of Persimmons and Sunflowers : A Dramatic Exploration of Love in Poetry


Allen Ginsberg- beatnik poet , author of Sunflower Sutra

T .S . Eliot- early 20th century poet , author of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

Sylvia Plath- mid 20th century poet , author of Daddy

Li Young Lee- late 20th century poet , author of Persimmons


Tavern on the Green , a restaurant in New York City . The four are seated at a table in the back of

the restaurant , huddled together . A candle is in the center of the table . Ginsberg and Plath are both swathed in black , Lee wears a bright red shirt and black pants , and Eliot dons a brown tweed suit . They have just finished eating and Plath and Eliot are both drinking wine

GINSBERG (Takes a sip of water before speaking ) The final of the evening , ladies and gentlemen . How do you represent love in your writing

ELIOT (Takes a sip of wine . Start us off , Mr . Ginsberg

GINSBERG : I have always liked the idea of being in love with the everyday , with the ugly . I think that that 's the truest form of love Beauty tends to blind people they fall in love because of physical appearance . But to truly accept something despite being less than aesthetic . I don 't believe that a stronger love has ever existed That 's in terms of people , places , and objects . The most beautiful place I 've ever been , the most love I 've ever felt , has been born of ugliness PLATH (Without looking up from her drink , which she stares at intently She has an even , unimpressed voice . Essentially , love is nothing but an ugly emotion . That is why there is no point in loving something which is beautiful . The truth of the matter is , love is hideous . It leaves a person feeling victimized (She sips her wine

LEE : I think that objects represent a true version of love . So many people tend to identify love with objects . That 's what I tried to explain when I wrote Persimmons ' It was that idea of being in love with inanimate objects because they represented a deeper truth (He quotes from Persimmons

Some things never leave a person

Scent of the hair of one you love

The texture of persimmons

In your palm

The ripe weight

It 's almost like a diamond ring . That means love for some people . It 's not actually being in love with the object but being in love with what the object represents

ELIOT : There is a danger in loving inanimate objects there is a danger in loving anything . Love blinds you . Love becomes a mere generalization people use . I believe that the majority of people believing that they have loved or are in love with another person have never felt what true love is . It is a cruel emotion . It controls everything you do and think . I 've always found love...

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