Love After Love

by Derek Walcott


Original Language English

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.

-- from Collected Poems 1948 - 1984, by Derek Wolcott

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving


This is a magical moment, when we finally encounter ourselves... when we actually see through to something essential, when we see through to something that is what we really are.

Most of the time I think we carry a reflexive fear of that meeting, so we tense up and expend a great deal of effort to avoid it. But Derek Walcott rightly says it is a moment of elation, one that inspires a deep smile and a profound sense of homecoming.

and each will smile at the other's welcome,

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


Is there more to say? Perhaps also a reminder to celebrate the journey that has brought us here...

Sit. Feast on your life.



Recommended Books: Derek Walcott

Sea Grapes Collected Poems 1948 - 1984 The Poetry of Derek Wolcott 1948 - 2013 Omeros White Egrets: Poems
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Love After Love