Love after Love by Derek Walcott

February 11, 2011

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


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Shirley Anstis is a counsellor, author and former magazine editor with a desire to live well and support others to do the same. She uses counselling, mindfulness and therapeutic writing to help her clients to work through their past, connect to their present and step into their future.This means connecting to our thoughts, feelings, imagination, body, mind and soul. The aim is to live happier and more fulfilled lives as we remember to be living beings, not just doing beings.

2 responses to Love after Love by Derek Walcott

  1. Here is one of my favourite poems (written by John Masefield) and I hope you like it too:

    I have seen flowers come in stony places
    And kind things done by men with ugly faces
    And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
    So I trust too.

    John Masefield
    English author (1878 – 1967)

  2. Thanks JR for your contribution, lovely to include it here. Shirley