by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Recuerdo Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes
How we cite our quotes: line
We hailed, "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head, (15)
Notice how the speaker both claims a relationship with the woman by calling her mother? It would seem like she's trying to establish a relationship with the woman – and yet the speaker never describes her as anything other than a "shawl-covered head." Does the speaker really want to get to know the woman, after all?
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read; (16)
Once again, the speaker's actions are marked with extravagance: why buy a paper that you know you're not going to read? Unless, of course, you're doing it to help a poor old woman…which is the implication of these lines.
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears,(17)
The speaker describes the woman's reaction to receiving the fruit – but she never explicitly describes the moment when she gives the woman fruit. Perhaps that's because she doesn't want to seem overly generous. After all, she's about to give her money, as well.