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by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Recuerdo Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes: line

Quote #1

We were very tired, we were very merry— (1)

The repetition of "we were" (twice in the first line!) immediately establishes this poem as one that will explicitly address the past.

Quote #2

But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon. (3-6)

These lines are deliberately vague, sketching out the bare-bones outlines of what the speaker and her friend did over the course of the night. It's clear that she doesn't care about remembering the details of the hill path or the night sky. She just wants to re-capture the emotions that the travels inspired.

Quote #3

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry. (13-14)

By the time we encounter these lines for the third time, we get the strange feeling that we're re-living our past, as well! After all, we've been here before…

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