Memory and the Past Theme
If you've ever wanted to remember parts of things and forget other parts, then "Remembrance" probably struck a chord with you. Unfortunately, the mind doesn't always work the way we want it to, and oftentimes we need to suffer the consequences of time as it takes its toll on how we remember things. But according to our speaker, we do have the power to manage our wallowing. Our memory, in other words, is something we need to check and control if it doesn't do us any good. But is that really always possible? Can we ever turn our memory off or manipulate it in a way that hurts us less?
Questions About Memory and the Past
- How is memory portrayed as being vulnerable to time? Does time always have the upper hand in how we remember things?
- Is it really possible to control how and when we indulge in memory's "rapturous pain"? In other words, do we choose to wallow?
- How does the speaker appear to remember her "Sweet Love of youth" later on in the poem? Is it still as sweet?
- Does the speaker feel guilty about not remembering to love? If so, is time to blame or something else?
Chew on This
Memory is a two-sided coin in "Remembrance." It's an essential part of love, but it also hurts like the dickens.
Memory is always vulnerable to time in "Remembrance," which tells us that the love of the speaker's youth will be remembered differently as the speaker continues to grow.