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1) What is the theme in this poem

2) It's kind of a long poem but can you please paraphrase it in easy words? I just don't get what this poem is about T_T..

3) What's the tone in this poem?

4)Does the tone change?

5)After reading the poem, do you have different feelings about the title?


Each morning I wrote my name

on the dusty cabinet, then crossed

the dining table in scriptm scrawled

in capitals on the back of chairs,

practicing signatures like scales

while Mother followed, squirting

linseed from a burping can

into a crumpled-up flannel.

She erased my fingerprints

from the bookshelf and rocker,

polished mirrors on the desk

scribbled with my alphabets

My name was swallowed in the towel

with which she jeweled the table tops.

The grain surfaced in the oak

and the pine grew luminous.

But I refused with every mark

to be like her, anonymous.

- Julia Alvarez

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's a poem of a child, making his mark in the world as a crawling baby, leaving fingerprints and saliva and all sorts of other signs of who he was, while his mother did the best to erase the signs of his having been there.

    But in the end, we all defeat our mother's best efforts, and we do leave marks, just as every living creature does.

    Some of us later choose to be like our mothers and follow the path of anonymity...while others make sure that this never happens to them, and leave traces of themselves where ever they can.

    Songwriters are like that....and so are poets.

    Source(s): Play, "Into The Heart of The Night"
  • 1 decade ago

    Identity is the theme. defiance if not rebellion against being consumed by a role which isn't recognized, but expected. She fights within herself to escape being "swallowed in the towel".

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I just answered the first one, go read.

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