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by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Recuerdo Theme of Friendship

The casualness of the "we" to which "Recuerdo" refers betrays an absolute confidence in the closeness of the "you" and "I" who make up the "we." Does that mean that the couple in the poem lives happily ever after? We have no idea. Were they strangers before that night? We don't know that either. For one night, though, they share a definite friendship.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Can you tell if the speaker is friends with the person to whom this poem is addressed? Does it matter?
  2. Why do you think that the poem concentrates on a single night instead of, say, a decade? How does this limit your understanding of their relationship?
  3. Do you think it matters that the speaker addresses the poem to her friend? How would it be different if it were in third person?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

This poem captures the essence of friendship with its description of a brief, happy memory.

By focusing on a brief, happy memory, the poem allows us to experience happiness without questioning the larger picture of the speaker's life with her friend.

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