Explore the profound layers of Anya Krugovoy Silver’s "Persimmon," where ripening fruit mirrors a spiritual quest and battle with illness. Discover beauty in life’s trials with our interactive lessons in literature.

Anya Krugovoy Silver died at age forty-eight. She wrote "Persimmon" with her body battered by cancer. She commends the persimmon—that it is perfected as its "body bruises and softens."
I place you by my window so your skin can receive the setting sun, so your flesh will yield to succulence, lush with juice, so the saints of autumn will bless your flaming fruit
because cancer has left me tired because when I visit God’s houses, I enter and leave alone not even in the melting beeswax, and swinging musk of incense has God visited me, not when I’ve bowed or kneeled or sung
because I have found God instead when I crouched in bathrooms, lain back for the burning of my skin, covered my face and cursed Persimmon: votive candle at the icon of my kitchen window your four-petaled stem the eye of God in the Temple’s dome, tabernacle of pulp and seed dwelling place for my wandering prayers
I am learning from you how to praise Because when your body bruises and softens, you are perfected because your soul, persimmon, is sugar.
In the Zen tradition, ordinary objects can teach the Dharma (or Truth) as adeptly as a Zen master. So long as the student approaches with reverence, any object can teach. Silver credits the persimmon with teaching her "how to praise."

Story From

Anya Krugovoy Silver Collection