My Mother Pieced Quilts

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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. In the poem "My Mother Pieced Quilts" by Teresa Palomo Acosta, the mother chooses the different aspects of the quilt, forms those aspects to make one quilt, and releases that one quilt on which it lives. In the beginning, the mother must choose the best treads to form the quilt. This this poem includes a barrage of elements and figurative language. Teresa Acosta brings the most obvious element throughout the poem. It is that of symbolism, life of the family. She achieved this through going from talking about the quilts as covers to achieving a rhetorical shift from these "weapons" to her interpretation of them, giving life to the inanimate quilt. The author also uses an abundant amount of metaphors. "Quilts are October ripened canvases" signifies that the quilts are being compared to paintings. The poet is saying that the quilt is a painting that the quilter has constructed by piecing together parts of his/her life experiences into this one design, illustrating a variety of, length-of-life experiences on the one quilt, like a complex canvas might do with a painting. Second, the author compares the artistic process to a natural one- "ripening". Making a quilt is a slow, methodical process. In this regard, the quilter is being compared to nature- specifically to the force of nature that provides sustenance (ripening is what makes food edible). The quilter is providing protection by creating a blanket that will keep loved ones warm. The quilter is like "mother nature" because it is in association with the harvest, a time of plenty works to connect the concept bounty with the quilt. Just as food is harvested in the fall and often stored for a long winter, the quilt is provided by the quilter (in this metaphor) in fall, and will keep whoever it's made for warm in the winter....
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