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Published: 08-09-2019

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The Importance of Quilt Through the Use of Imagery, Tone, and Structure in The Century Quilt, a Poem by Marilyn Wanie

Quilts can be a narrative element of the history behind several cultures. The powerful symbolism in every single stitch of their unique patterns has represented numerous intimate bonds amongst families, communities, and friends. In her poem “The Century Quilt,” Marilyn Waniek effectively illustrates the importance of her quilt utilizing imagery, tone, and structure. She is able to convey the pride she requires in her rich heritage using the symbolism behind it.

Via a descriptive use of colors, Waniek creates a vivid image of her quilt. “Six Van-Dyke brown squares, two white, and 1 square the yellow brown of mama’s cheeks” (15-17). These colors are not only describing the quilt but also the colors of her background. The quilt is employed all through the poem as an extended metaphor to imply the wonderful amount of pride she requires in her interracial loved ones. She goes on to illustrate what she would dream of although sleeping below it. She mentions her Father’s “burnt umber pride”(39), her mother’s “ochre gentleness”(40), and her grandfather’s white loved ones. This demonstrates the diversity in the poet’s history and how they have been all capable to come with each other out of adore and acceptance for a single an additional.

Waniek’s diction creates a nostalgic tone as she looks back on her Meema’s blanket in admiration, wrapping herself in it and pretending to be a princess. “I remembered how I planned to inherit that blanket” (9-10). The past tense memories she adds at the starting of her poem emphasizes the sentimental value of the indian blanket. She then juxtaposes it saying that she has now located a quilt “[she] would like to die under”(13-14). She makes it possible for the reader to relive her previous by way of her personal perspective. The reader can see the happiness she experienced while under the century quilt and the significance those experiences have to her. From her reminisces to her dreams about the future, she is imagining the happiness her quilt brings her. She dreams of the future, passing the quilt down to her unconceived kid whom she suggests she may meet although dreaming beneath the quilt.

The structure of this poem is chronological and totally free-verse. In the very first stanza, the author tells us about her past with Meema’s blanket. Throughout the second stanza, she describes her present and what she is now experiencing with a quilt of her personal. In the third stanza, she tells us what she wishes to get from her quilt in the future. The use of structure assists us further realize her comfort and feelings towards her quilt and how she has grown to love and cherish who she is. It is sketched up with each other to symbolize her household bonds and diversity inside it. At the finish, she speaks of the future and the “pattern of leaves”(45) by which she names the quilt, which will continue to hold increasing as she passes down her pride to the next generations to come.

By way of imagery, tone, and structure Waniek is in a position to emphasize the strong family members bonds and deep self-pride that she attaches to her Century Quilt. From her childhood memories to her heritage there is a excellent significance that the quilt has for her. Aside from its warmth and comfort, it brings her sentimental gratification.
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