Delicious: An Analysis Of "The Word Plum"

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A single word can carry meaning beyond that of a thousand different words if used in the correct way. In “The Word Plum” by Helen Chasin, many words are used to describe another, but one word in particular carries deeper meaning far beyond it’s own initial use to expand and expound upon what makes a plum what it is. This word is “delicious”, and it’s varying uses and meanings bring up more then a single ever can. The word “delicious” carries with it a deeper meaning in this poem, and those deeper meanings give further depth and complexity to the work. First one must look at the word with it’s base definition, using this, one can begin to explain it’s use in the poem better. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, delicious is an adjective meaning “highly pleasant to the taste”, or “delightful”. This means a plum can mean far more then the simple sensation of taste, after all, one can have many delightful things that do not pertain to food. As the same dictionary gives example, you can have a “delicious irony”, delight can also come in pleasure and emotion, feelings beyond the simple “tart” (Line 8) taste of the plum. Delicious can be used to describe so many different things, you can have a delicious word, a delicious sound, a delicious sensation and a delicious action all at the same time, and each time the meaning of the word really doesn’t change much, it describes something delightful and pleasurable every single time. Chasin’s poem goes on to describe the word “Plum” as far more then just the fruit. “Delicious” is expanded by what it can mean when we place it up against more then flavor. Delicia is the Latin word from which delicious is derives, it too means “pleasure” or “delight”. This simple sensation, this joyous sounding term does say much more then that the fruit in description simply tastes good. The original Latin in context was used much like the

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