Making a quilt is a slow, methodical process.
Poem Summary Lines 1—4 Acosta begins the poem at the most literal level, introducing the quilts and how they were used: Lines 5—7 Here the speaker of the poem explains the daily routine of waking up as a child under the colorful quilts.
The speaker begins to remember how the cloth felt under hand; the sense of touch is one of the strongest triggers for memory. Lines 8—12 Once the speaker of the poem remembers touching the covers, she also remembers wondering how the mother was able to make the quilt, a single fabric woven of many smaller pieces.
Metaphorically, the speaker of the poem begins to suggest that the memories of those events are woven into the fabric as well.
Lines 13—15 Lines 13—15 focus on the difficult process the mother took trying to take many mismatched and oddly shaped pieces and arrange them in a coherent pattern, much like a puzzle.
Lines 16—19 Once the pieces were arranged, the mother wove them together with needle and thread, a thimble over her finger to avoid sticking herself. Lines 23—26 Lines 23—26 return to specific descriptions of the individual fabric pieces, the mother working hard to make them fit together.
By relating these associations, the speaker might be commenting on how memory itself is pieced together, ragged scraps arranged together.
Lines 27—30 Here the mother is compared to a painter at a canvas, using the square patterns of the kitchen floor as a model. Lines 31—32 With so many scraps of fabric to choose from, the mother had to decide not only what colors might fit well together, but the seasons and events with which each piece is associated as well.
Lines 33—34 In each square of fabric, it seems, the mother would even paint tiny scenes, the quilt a combination of many colors and shapes.
The mother has to decide whether to include a patch in honor of some occasion associated with that time of year—perhaps her wedding day. Lines 35—36 In contrast to the fairly pleasant memories introduced thus far, in these lines the mother has to decide whether to include a scrap of a funeral dress in the quilt as well, shaping it into a black star.
By mentioning the good memories as well as the painful, perhaps the speaker is reminding the reader that all memory and experience is a combined weaving of lights and darks, good times and bad.
Lines 37—40 Here the speaker moves from close description of the quilting process to more figurative language, helping lift the mother from her everyday hobby to something greater.
Note, too, how the previous scenes that the mother sewed, though fairly simple in construction, are now quite intricate and difficult to craft: This implies the mother was very good at what she did, spending many hours perfecting her art.
Lines 41—45 Continuing to invent analogies for the mother, in these lines the speaker describes her as the master of an army of needles, charging across the cloth battlefield with her hands at the reins. Images like this perhaps help give power to a woman who really just made quilts in her kitchen, perhaps looked upon by many as just a simple hobby.
To the child who grew up to be the speaker of the poem, though, this was a wonderful and important task, equal to that of masters and generals. The speaker tells the mother how those quilts evoke so many painful and joyous occasions.This essay discusses female creativity in “My Mother Pieced Quilts,” Chicana mothers’ search for an alternative legacy to pass down to their daughters, and the .
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My Mother Pieced Quilts Essay Various threads are needed to form one unique quilt.
Similarly, a mother quilts together the best and diverse threads of life to form one unique identity in which a child lives with forever. The poem, "My Mother Pieced Quilts," by Teresa Palomo Acosta, focuses on the mother's talent for weaving memories out of old fabric that is otherwise useless.
The cloth has come from many different sources, each with it's own nostalgic significance-communion dresses, wedding gowns, nightclothes /5(3). My Mother Pieced Quilts. 2 Pages Words. A Tapestry of Memories The poem, “My Mother Pieced Quilts,” by Teresa Palomo Acosta, focuses on the mother’s talent for weaving memories out of old fabric that is otherwise useless.