Loving the Lines: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Hey there! Today, I have another Loving the Lines for you! Basically, Loving the Lines is dedicated to books with stand-out quotes that need to be shared. I’m often moved by passages and lines from the books I read, and I thought this would be a great way to show the love!! Many thanks to all the wonderful writers who inspire, empower, entertain, and make people think. Today, that author is: 

Madeline Miller!

I recently read and ADORED The Song of Achilles! The beautiful writing, the characters, the love story…it’s an exceptional read!! It’s one of those books that stays with you long after you finish it, and it is definitely one of my top reads of all-time. I literally hugged the book when I finished it, and I talked about it so much that my husband ordered Circe as a surprise. I can’t wait to read Circe, and I have a feeling it might inspire another Loving the Lines!

Let’s take a look at the book and some of my favorite lines.

Title: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Page Length: 352

Publication Date: Sept. 20, 2011

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Synopsis: Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

LINKS:     Goodreads     |     Amazon  |  Book Depository

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Favorite Lines

About Love:

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.

He was spring, golden and bright. Envious death would drink his blood, and grow young again. He was watching me, his eyes as deep as earth.

“Will you come with me?” he asked.

The never-ending ache of love and sorrow. Perhaps in some other life I could have refused, could have torn my hair and screamed, and made him face his choice alone. But not in this one. He would sail to Troy and I would follow, even into death. “Yes,” I whipsered. “Yes.”

Relief broke in his face, and he reached for me. I let him hold me, let him press us length to length so close that nothing might fit between us. 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.

We were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.

He is half of my soul, as the poets say.

Achilles’ eyes were bright in the firelight, his face drawn sharply by the flickering shadows. I would know it in dark or disguise, told myself. I would know it even in madness.

He smiled, and his face was like the sun.

I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.
If I had had words to speak such a thing, I would have. But there were none that seemed big enough for it, to hold that swelling truth.

As if he had heard me, he reached for my hand. I did not need to look; his fingers were etched into my memory, slender and petal-veined, strong and quick and never wrong.

About Death:

And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.

The sorrow was so large it threatened to tear through my skin. When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.

The memories well up like springwater, faster than I can hold them back. They do not come as words, but like dreams, rising as scent from the rain-wet earth. This, I say. This and this. The way his hair looked in summer sun. His face when he ran. His eyes, solemn as an owl at lessons. This and this and this. So many moments of happiness, crowding forward.

It is right to seek peace for the dead. You and I both know there is no peace for those who live after.

The yearning for him is like hunger, hollowing me. Somewhere his soul waits, but it is nowhere I can reach.

About Life:

You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.

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?”

No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.

There are no bargains between lions and men. 

We are men only, a brief flare of the torch. Those to come may raise us or lower us as they please.

Isn’t the writing gorgeous? And I just love the poignancy and beauty of these lines! Have you read The Song of Achilles? Which quote is your favorite? Comment below!

Check out some of my other favorite Greek my retellings!

34 thoughts on “Loving the Lines: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

  1. I’ve been hearing so many great things about this book. I think the passages you highlighted solidified that I need to read this.

    1. Thanks, Becky! It’s a wonderful read. On top of the beautiful, almost poetic, writing, the love story is everything!!!! I also love that you see a very well known story by a lesser known character. It makes for a fresh and new perspective. I hope you enjoy it when you get to it!!

  2. Omg, this book slayed my feelings. I was a blubbering mess by the end even though I KNEW what was coming. Miller’s writing is absolutely stunning and reading these quotes makes me wanna reread the book asap! Beautiful lines 😍

  3. Not really ‘lines’ but a scene in this story that really made me crumble from so much feels:

    Achilles: Name a hero who was happy.
    Patroclus: …
    A: You can’t.
    P: I can’t.
    A: I know. They never let you be famous AND happy. I’ll tell you a secret.
    P: Tell me.
    A: I’m going to be the first. Swear it.
    P: Why me?
    A: Because you’re the reason. Swear it.

    Soooo good!!!

    1. Yes!! That was such a touching and intimate moment – It’s so beautiful and shows not just a deep love but also a sense of hope. I think it becomes even more emotional because you know what happens to Achilles and are aware of their tragic future. 🙂

      1. I just finished reading this book, and I don’t remember coming across this quote that I keep seeing everywhere online:

        Patroclus,” Achilles tilted his face up with a gentle finger under his chin. ”I would recognise you in total darkness, were you mute and I deaf. I would recognise you in another lifetime entirely, in different bodies, different times. And I would love you in all of this, until the very last star in the sky burnt out into oblivion”.

        1. I am also searching for this- can’t find a page number and don’t remember reading this but keep seeing it everywhere!

          1. I can’t find it either. Pg 148 has the quote “I could recognize him by touch alone…” but that’s the closest I could find.

  4. Ah I just finished this book rn, and the beauty of the writing is beyond compare. All of these quotes just make me so happy and so sad at the same time. 😔 My favorite is probably the very last one: “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.”

    1. Yes!! I love that quote! This is one of my favorite books!! It’s such a beautifully written story, and I literally hugged the book when I finished. lol I haven’t read Miller’s Circe yet, but it’s on my TBR for March.

  5. I adored this book so much as well!!!! Thank you for collecting these quotes and reminding me of how beautiful the writing is. I enjoyed Circe even more because of its feminist undertones, so I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! 📚❤️ X x x

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