Derek Walcott’s magnificent LOVE AFTER LOVE

Love After Love

from Collected Poems, 1948-1984

Derek Walcott, 1930-2017, Saint Lucian








The time will come
when, with elation





you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door,





in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,




and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread.






                       Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you





all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,





the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.





Sit. Feast on your life.   








All photos from a small farmhouse we loved in the Ashokan Catskills, NY which we love


6 thoughts on “Derek Walcott’s magnificent LOVE AFTER LOVE

  1. This is – as you suggest – a very special poem. The thought. quite powerfully expressed, is so important for those who perhaps receive no Valentines and must learn to love themselves in the absence of other peoples’ declarations! Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Thanks, yes. Perhaps this poem first because self-appreciation needs to come first for so many of life’s adventures?

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