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The Passing of the Year

The Passing of the Year

by Robert Service

Time Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

What dark, condemning yesterdays? (line 36)

This poor guy, who our speaker thinks is a criminal, really seems to have the weight of the past pressing down on him.  Luckily, the poem doesn't spend too much time on this, or it could get depressing.  Still, we think that the idea that time can be a burden, that it can "condemn" you, is an important theme in this poem.  Maybe things haven't gotten that bad for the speaker yet, but he seems to be leaning that way.

Quote #5

Old weary year! it's time to go. (line 48)

We don't want to get too spacey on you, but there are at least a couple different kinds of time working in this poem.  There's the clock time of the world, which is moving along.  There's also poem-time (you like that? we just made it up) because every poem has to have a beginning middle and end.  In this line, the poem time and the clock time are coming together.  It's "time" for the "weary year" to go, because it's getting near midnight, but also because the poem is ending.

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