I am reading the book Guess How Much I Love You.

What does "I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river. I love you across the river and over the hills" mean?

Does it mean "When I am walking along the lane, I say that I love you as far as the river. When I swim across the river and I walk over the hills, I think that I love you"?

1 Answer 1


Well, this sort of thing is always open to interpretation. But, my interpratation is that it basically means "forever", or perhaps "to the greatest possible extent".

The hills, river, lane etc are not to be taken literally - they are part of a metaphor. When the speaker says "I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river. ", "all the way down the lane as far as the river" means "as far as you can see", or perhaps just "a long way". They then go on to say that they love the other person "across the river and over the hills", meaning "and then a lot more".

So it's akin to saying "I love you a lot, and then a lot more in addition to that".

"Over the hills" may be a (perhaps accidental) reference to "over the hills and far away", a lyric from a traditional folk tune which has passed into the public lexicon to mean "so far away as to be unreachable". Even if it's not a reference to that, "over the hills" in this context simply means "the greatest possible distance".

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