“It felt desperate, it felt like need, desire, and want all sprouting up from the cold earth. It was to me, very much what it is to have a deep, wounding crush. There was something very human about it, those look-at-me fruit begging to be taken.”
Ada Limon’s poem “Crush” appears in the New Yorker summer fiction issue, and it’s a good one. “For starters,” she writes at one point, “it was all / an accident, you / the right branch / and a sort of light / woke up underneath / and the inedible fruit / grew dark and needy. / Think crucial hanging. / Think crayon orange.” Just as cool is that Googling her leads to her Blogspot blog, where you find her happy over the publication and then linking to a thoughtful S.F. Examiner interview about the poem. That’s where I found the opening quote here, with Limon discussing the persimmon tree metaphor in the work.
Same with this one: “Yes, it is very much a love poem. It is, however, not a traditional love poem. I wanted to convey desire, physicality, sensuality, but then I also wanted the poem to have a sense of denial of touch, of distance. In the final lines, I wanted the poem to move beyond the great uncomfortable ‘want’ of love and move more into the love of letting go, the love that goes beyond desire and opens into that universal hum. I wanted the tree/speaker to start to move on, to move away, but with that one last offering always remaining.”