In the context in which it appears, “shades” (line 2) most nearly means
The more definitions a given noun has, the more valuable is each one. Multiple definitions, each subtly different from all the others, convey multiple shades of meaning. They expand the uses of the word; language is enriched, thought is widened, and interpretations increase or dilate to fill the potentialities of association. The very impossibility of absoluteness in the definition of certain nouns adds to the levels of connotation they may reach. The inner life of a writer often says more than most readers can know; the mind of a reader can discover truths that go beyond the intent or perhaps even the comprehension of the writer: And all of it finds expression because a word can mean many things.
reminders, nuances, obscurities, coverings, degrees
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