“We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.”
—Edna St. Vincent Millay
About This Listing
This listing is for a hand-painted clay pendant featuring an intricate gouache seascape inspired by Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Recuerdo." The pendants are finished with two coats of UV-resistant gloss varnish on the front, and left unvarnished on the back so as to highlight the gritty earthen texture of the fired clay. They are signed and dated by the artist on the back. Each pendant measures approximately 1.5 inches in diameter and comes with a 21-inch silver-plated figaro chain. It will be packaged in a decorative Kraft jewelry box with velvety black backing, and accompanied by a printed and signed label detailing the specifications of the piece and including the quotation that inspired it.
Because these pendants are handmade and hand-painted, no two are identical, although all share the same colors and general design. Thus, the pendant you receive may not be exactly the same as the ones highlighted in the photos, but will be its own unique and original work of art.
To ensure a long life for your hand-painted pendant, keep it dry and take care not to drop it or scratch the surface. Dust as needed with a clean microfiber cloth.
Millay's “Recuerdo” is a short lyrical poem describing one joyous and cherished night spent by a pair of lovers or friends in the reckless enjoyment of small adventures. In Spanish, recuerdo means a memory, memento, or souvenir, and that is an apt title for this brief and intimate piece. This is not a complex or layered work of literature. It is spare and simple. It is unapologetically upbeat. It is contented. Yet when I first read this poem, many years ago, something in me leaped up, full of that longing that is both glad and perilously close to tears. I’ve never spent a whole night in gloriously aimless ferry rides or watched the sunrise while crunching an apple or bought a newspaper from an impoverished old woman on a street corner. But when I read this poem, it feels like a memory to me. And not a memory belonging to a woman who died when my grandparents were only children. Oh, no: it feels like a memory of my own. And I think that’s because it captures a universal human experience.
This poem talks of those rare, resplendent times when love and high spirits and the unexpected arrival of something long hoped-for all come together in one place and we charge headlong into happiness. It talks of the moments of pinnacle, when we feel as though everything that came before was only a prelude and whatever happens next hardly matters anymore. This tiny, unassuming poem, barely more than a personal anecdote, has in it something timeless and too big for words. Into this one private memory, Millay has managed to cram the ethereal, and I'm reminded each time I read it of some words from G.K. Chesterton: “Happiness,” he says, “is not only a hope, but also in some stranger manner a memory...we are all kings in exile.” And maybe this is why odd fragments of delight—like this snatch of verse published 100 years ago in a 1919 edition of Poetry Magazine—can hit us with the wistful heartache of a half-remembered dream: because the soul remembers coming from a Bigger Place. And come hell or high water, it’s going back.
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International shipping is available and will be calculated for you at checkout. Please allow 1 week for this item to ship.
© 2023 Bryana Joy
The artist retains all copyrights.