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And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone
I am made of memories. ― Madeline Miller
We are all there, goddess and mortal and the boy who was both. ~Patroclusthe song of Achilles lines
I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way, his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.
In the darkness, two shadows reached through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.― Madeline Miller
Song of Achilles Quotes
He is half of my soul, as the poets say.
Name one hero who was happy. ― Madeline Miller
Do not let what you gained this day be so easily lost. ~Chiron
When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.
You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
The presence of the other boys did not comfort me; our dead come for their vengeance regardless of witnesses.
We reached for each other and I thought of how many nights I had lain awake in this room loving him in silence
I feel like I could eat the world raw. ― Madeline Miller
Our men liked conquest; they did not trust a man who conquered himself. ~Patroclus
We were like gods at the dawning of the world, & our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.
I know. They never let you be famous AND happy.” He lifted an eyebrow. “I’ll tell you a secret.
All I saw was his beauty, his singing limbs, the quick flickering of his feet.
I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me
I don’t think I’ve ever told you how I like it.
I have done it,” she says. At first, I do not understand. But then I see the tomb and the marks she has made on the stone. A C H I L L E S, it reads. And beside it, P A T R O C L U S.
“Go,” she says. “He waits for you.
Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this.
When he speaks, at last, his voice is weary and defeated. He doesn’t know how to be angry with me, either. We are like damp wood that won’t light.
Odysseus inclines his head. “True. But fame is a strange thing. Some men gain glory after they die, while others fade. What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another.” He spread his broad hands. “We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory. Who knows?” He smiles. “Perhaps one day even I will be famous. Perhaps more famous than you.
He smiled, and his face was like the sun. ― Madeline Miller
But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart? ~Patroclus
This man moved like the gods were watching: every gesture he made was upright and correct. There was no one else it could be but Hector
No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.
I should have known better than to call upon the gods. ~Patroclus
Philtatos,” Achilles replied, sharply. Most Beloved.
The rosy gleam of his lip, the fevered gleam of his eyes. There was not a line anywhere on his face, nothing creased or graying; all crisp. He was spring, golden, and bright. Envious death would drink his blood, and grow young again
Maybe her gods are kinder than ours, and she will find rest.
He said what he meant; he was puzzled if you did not. ― Madeline Miller
Tears came and fell. Above us, the constellations spun and the moon paced her weary course. We lay stricken and sleepless as the hours passed. ~Patroclus
He is worth more to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else’s friend and brother. So which life is more important?
There are no bargains between lions and men. I will kill you and eat you raw.
Later Achilles would play the lyre, as Chiron and I listened. My mother’s lyre. He had brought it with him.
I wish I had known,’ I said, the first day when he showed it to me.
I lay back and tried not to think of the minutes passing. Just yesterday we had a wealth of them. Now, each was a drop of heart’s blood lost.
You and I know there is no peace for those who live after. ― Madeline Miller
I am air and thought and can do nothing
There was more to say, but for once we did not say it. There would be other times for speaking, tonight and tomorrow and all the days after that. He let go of my hand.
He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.
Our goddess of the moon is gifted with magic, with power over the dead. She could banish the dreams if she wished. She did not.
When I am dead, I charge you to mingle our ashes and bury us together.
Nothing could eclipse the stain of his dirty, mortal mediocrity. ~Patroclus
I stopped watching for ridicule, the scorpion’s tail hidden in his words. He said what he meant; he was puzzled if you did not. Some people might have mistaken this for simplicity. But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart?
This, I say. This and this. The way his hair looked in the summer sun. His face when he ran. His eyes were solemn as an owl at lessons. This and this and this. So many moments of happiness, crowding forward.
I conjure the boy I knew. Achilles grins as the figs blur in his hands. His green eyes laugh into mine. Catch, he says. Achilles, outlined against the sky, hanging from a branch over the river. The thick warmth of his sleepy breath against my ear. If you have to go, I will go with you. My fears are forgotten in the golden harbor of his arms.
I found myself wishing he would wake so that I might watch life return.
Now I know how to make you follow me everywhere.
It is right to seek peace for the dead. You and I know there is no peace for those who live after.
There is no law that gods must be fair, Achilles,” Chiron said. “And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone. What do you think?
He knew, but it was not enough. The sorrow was so large it threatened to tear through my skin. When he died, all things swift and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.
There is no answer. Whichever you choose, you are wrong.
But the stranger is someone else’s friend and brother. So which life is more important?
For who can be ashamed to lose to such beauty? ~Patroclus
It was almost like fear, in the way it filled me, rising in my chest. It was almost like tears, in how swiftly it came. But it was neither of those, buoyant where they were heavy, bright were they dull.
I found myself grinning until my cheeks hurt, my scalp prickling till I thought it might lift off my head. My tongue ran away from me, giddy with freedom. This, and this, and this, I said to him. I did not have to fear that I spoke too much. I did not have to worry that I was too slender, or too slow. This and this and this! I taught him how to skip stones, and he taught me how to carve wood. I could feel every nerve in my body, every brush of air against my skin.
There was nothing clever to say, so I said something foolish
I almost did not come, because I did not want to believe it.’ He smiled. ‘Now I know how to make you follow me everywhere.
We were fourteen, and these things were too hard for us. Now that we are twenty-seven, they still feel too hard.
An ugly man, with a face sharp like a weasel and a habit of running a flickering tongue over his lips before he speaks. ~Patroclus
I would still be with you. But I could sleep outside, so it would not be so obvious. I do not need to attend your councils. I
I saw then how I had changed. I did not mind anymore that I lost when we raced and I lost when we swam out to the rocks and I lost when we tossed spears or skipped stones. For who can be ashamed to lose to such beauty?
What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another. We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory.
No. The Phthians will not care. And the others can talk all they like. I will still be Aristos Achaion.’ Best of the Greeks.
Achilles‘ eyes were bright in the firelight, his face drawn sharply by the flickering shadows. I would know it in the dark or in disguise, I told myself. I would know it even in madness.
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