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.
Derek Walcott (1930 – 2017)
A native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Walcott was one of the most decorated of modern poets and playwrights. A winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature, he began writing in his teens, attended the University of Jamaica and moved to Trinidad to teach. He was hired by Boston University in 1981 and was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Grant the same year. He later taught at the University of Alberta, (Canada) and the University of Essex, (England). Thrice married, thrice divorced, Walcott had two daughters. He died last week in St. Lucia.
I heard Tom Hiddleston read this on NPR last Sunday and wished my radio had a repeat button.