…scent of the hair of one you love,/ the texture of persimmons,/ in your palm, the ripe weight.” (closing lines of Li-Young Lee’s 1986 poem “Persimmons”).
From: Chapter Eight (1758-1762) of Benjamin Franklin in London (2016) by George Goodwin:
“On 3 December 1760, Franklin was approached by the Society of Arts and asked to become one of the two chairmen of the Committee of Colonies and Trade. This completely suited his scientific interests, because it was the role of the committee to award “premiums” or financial awards as part of the Society’s “encouragement”. At the first meeting he chaired, on 6 January 1761, the discussion covered persimmon gum, botanic gardens, dyes from logwood trees, myrtle wax for candle making, silkworms, American sturgeon, isinglass, hemp, silk grass and opium. It will be noted that the focus was on the development of natural resources rather than on manufacture. In time this emphasis would greatly irritate Franklin, but at this point he was delighted to throw himself into the work.”