modern love

Derek Walcott’s ‘Love After Love’

Derek Walcott is a Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright originally from Saint Lucia.

In ‘Love After Love’, Walcott suggests we treat ourselves with as much care as we would a lover. “Give back your heart to itself,” he counsels, after having neglected it for another.

Sit. Feast on your life.

***

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.

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