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date: 18 April 2024


  1. Memories are hunting horns
    Whose sound dies on the wind.
    Guillaume Apollinaire 1880–1918 French poet: ‘Cors de Chasse’ (1912)
  2. And we forget because we must
    And not because we will.
    Matthew Arnold 1822–88 English poet and essayist: ‘Absence’ (1852)
  3. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.
    Jane Austen 1775–1817 English novelist: Pride and Prejudice (1813) ch. 58
  4. Someone said that God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.
    J. M. Barrie 1860–1937 Scottish writer and dramatist: Rectorial Address at St Andrew's, 3 May 1922
  5. Memories are not shackles, Franklin, they are garlands.
    Alan Bennett 1934–  English dramatist and actor: Forty Years On (1969) act 2
  6. We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
    For auld lang syne.
    Robert Burns 1759–96 Scottish poet: ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (1796)
  7. Poor people's memory is less nourished than that of the rich; it has fewer landmarks in space because they seldom leave the place where they live, and fewer reference points in time.
    Albert Camus 1913–60 French novelist, dramatist, and essayist: The First Man (1994)
  8. Our memories are card-indexes consulted, and then put back in disorder by authorities whom we do not control.
    Cyril Connolly 1903–74 English writer: The Unquiet Grave (1944) pt. 3
  9. I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
    Flung roses, roses, riotously, with the throng,
    Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind.
    Ernest Dowson 1867–1900 English poet: ‘Non Sum Qualis Eram’ (1896) (also known as ‘Cynara’); see Horace
  10. We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories. And those that carry us forward are dreams.
    David Duncan and John Logan screenwriters: The Time Machine (2002 film) based on the novel by H. G. Wells, spoken by Jeremy Irons as Übermorlock
  11. Footfalls echo in the memory
    Down the passage which we did not take
    Towards the door we never opened
    Into the rose-garden.
    T. S. Eliot 1888–1965 American-born British poet, critic, and dramatist: Four Quartets ‘Burnt Norton’ (1936) pt. 1
  12. Memory believes before knowing remembers.
    William Faulkner 1897–1962 American novelist: Light in August (1933) ch. 6
  13. Everyone seems to remember with great clarity what they were doing on November 22nd, 1963, at the precise moment they heard President Kennedy was dead.
    Frederick Forsyth 1938–  English novelist: The Odessa File (1972)
  14. Your memory is a monster; you forget—it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you—and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!
    John Irving 1942–  American novelist: A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989)
  15. The true art of memory is the art of attention.
    Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: in The Idler no. 74 (15 September 1759)
  16. We met at nine.
    We met at eight.
    I was on time.
    No, you were late.
    Ah yes! I remember it well.
    Alan Jay Lerner 1918–86 American songwriter: ‘I Remember it Well’ (1958 song)
  17. A cigarette that bears a lipstick's traces,
    An airline ticket to romantic places;
    And still my heart has wings
    These foolish things
    Remind me of you.
    Holt Marvell (Eric Maschwitz) 1901–69 English songwriter: ‘These Foolish Things Remind Me of You’ (1935 song)
  18. And entering with relief some quiet place
    Where never fell his foot or shone his face
    I say, ‘There is no memory of him here!’
    And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
    Edna St Vincent Millay 1892–1950 American poet: ‘Time does not bring relief’
  19. You may break, you may shatter the vase, if you will,
    But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.
    Thomas Moore 1779–1852 Irish musician and songwriter: Irish Melodies (1807) ‘Farewell!—but whenever’
  20. The memories of long love gather like drifting snow, poignant as the mandarin ducks who float side by side in sleep.
    Murasaki Shikibu c.978–c.1031 Japanese writer and courtier: The Tale of Genji
  21. What beastly incidents our memories insist on cherishing!…the ugly and disgusting…the beautiful things we have to keep diaries to remember!
    Eugene O'Neill 1888–1953 American dramatist: Strange Interlude (1928)
  22. And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray…my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane.
    Marcel Proust 1871–1922 French novelist: Du côté de chez Swann (Swann's Way, 1913) vol. 1, tr. C. K. Scott-Moncrieff and S. Hudson, rev. T. Kilmartin
  23. Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.
    Christina Rossetti 1830–94 English poet: ‘Remember’ (1862)
  24. Pay attention to what they tell you to forget.
    Muriel Rukeyser 1913–80 American poet: ‘Double Ode’ (1976)
  25. I've a grand memory for forgetting, David.
    Robert Louis Stevenson 1850–94 Scottish novelist: Kidnapped (1886) ch. 18