“Love after Love”

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 4:24 pm

“Love after Love”

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.


“Love after Love” from COLLECTED POEMS 1948-1984 by Derek Walcott. Copyright © 1986 by Derek Walcott. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Find more poetry from On Being on the Poetry Radio Project page.

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Derek Walcott

is a Saint Lucia poet and playwright. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013. His works include the Homeric epic poem Omeros, which many critics view “as Walcott’s major achievement.”

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