Quotes from “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

My hand closed over his. “You must not kill Hector,” I said.
He looked up, his beautiful face framed by the gold of his hair. “My mother told you the rest of the prophecy.”
“She did.”
“And you think that no one but me can kill Hector.”
“Yes,” I said.
“And you think to steal time from the Fates?”
“Ah.” A sly smile spread across his face; he had always loved defiance. “Well, why should I kill him? He’s done nothing to me.”
I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.
“And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone. Do you think?”
“Perhaps,” Achilles admitted.
We cannot bury one without the other.
Achilles smiles as his face strikes the earth.
“Philtatos,” Achilles says, sharply. Most beloved.
He is half of my soul, as the poets say. He will be dead soon, and his honor is all that will remain.
Some had a whole epic, others just a verse.
He pressed against me, crushing my lips to wine.
Peleus stood at the shore’s edge, one hand raised in farewell. True to his word, Achilles had not told him of the prophecy, merely hugged him tightly, as if to soak the old man into his skin. I had embraced him too, those thin, wiry limbs. I thought, This is what Achilles will feel like when he is old. And then I remembered: he will never be old.
“If you have to go, you know I will go with you.”
we have wrestled, my own skin smells like it.
He puts a hand down, to lean against. The muscles in his arms curve softly, appearing and disappearing as he moves. His eyes are deep green on mine.
My pulse jumps, for no reason I can name. He has looked at me a thousand thousand times, but there is something different in this gaze, an intensity I do not know. My mouth is dry, and I can hear the sound of my throat as I swallow.
He watches me. It seems that he is waiting.
I shift, an infinitesimal movement, towards him. It is like the leap from a waterfall. I do not know, until then, what I am going to do. I lean forward and our lips land clumsily on each other. They are
“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. ACHILLES, it reads. And beside it, PATROCLUS.

“Go,” she says. “He waits for you.”

IN THE DARKNESS, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.
But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart?
ACHILLES, it reads. And beside it, PATROCLUS.
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.
surety rose in me, lodged in my throat. I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.
We are all there, goddess and mortal and the boy who was both
Wherever we went, we were observed. I watched Achilles closely, waiting to see if Thetis would again make his hair brighter or his muscles bigger. If she did, I did not notice; all the grace I saw then was his own: simple, unadorned, glorious. He waved to the men who stared at him; he smiled and greeted them as he passed. I heard the words, whispered from behind beards and broken teeth and callused hands: Aristos Achaion. Was he as Odysseus and Diomedes had promised? Did they believe those slender limbs could hold against an army of Trojans? Could a boy of sixteen really be our greatest warrior? And everywhere, as I watched the questions, I saw also the answers. Yes, they nodded to each other, yes, yes.
tilliehas quotedlast year
We were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.
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