Derek Walcott

Rookie (23 January 1930 / Castries / St Lucia)

Love After Love - Poem by Derek Walcott

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.

Comments about Love After Love by Derek Walcott

  • (10/26/2016 11:28:00 AM)

    I hope that message is meant for me. (Report) Reply

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  • (10/4/2016 4:26:00 AM)

    I have always had trouble accepting myself and loving myself. My self esteem has been low since I was a child and my father left my mother and I to start another family. This poem speaks to my broken soul. I love it. (Report) Reply

  • (3/30/2016 11:09:00 PM)

    I am returning to God after many years , this wonderful poem not only has truth woven through it , but also allows oneself to celebrate ones life AND allows one to return to God. One of the loveliest poems l have ever read. (Report) Reply

  • (3/17/2016 12:27:00 AM)

    fist on your life and read poetry (Report) Reply

  • (12/20/2015 3:12:00 AM)

    .a wonderful poem (Report) Reply

  • (12/20/2015 2:53:00 AM)

    each single word is spiritual (Report) Reply

  • (12/15/2015 12:12:00 AM)

    lovely poem.......... (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2015 5:27:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem. BUT they should definitely do away with the recording of the robot, non-human. It is a huge mistake - they should have actors doing the reading (Report) Reply

    Manonton Dalan (12/15/2015 12:11:00 AM)

    I agree it takes out part of the poem.

  • (11/12/2015 5:24:00 AM)


  • Titto Mutunguti (10/13/2015 5:26:00 AM)

    Great piece of work...that person who love you..who knows u better (Report) Reply

  • Godfrey Morris (4/28/2015 10:56:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem. Great writer (Report) Reply

  • Musfiq Us Shaleheen (11/30/2014 2:26:00 AM)

    simply beautiful write, metaphors are so rich and intense (Report) Reply

  • (8/8/2014 8:05:00 AM)

    I came across a few lines of this poem, in a fictional book, by Amanda Prowse, called what have I done,
    The words immediately spoke to me, like a message, of some one who knew all the ins and outs of my life,
    A friend said to me, their is no such thing, as coincidences, I was meant to read this poem
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/18/2014 3:35:00 PM)

    ...........I fully agree, we must love ourselves before we can love others..... (Report) Reply

  • (2/18/2014 7:59:00 AM)

    Learning to love ourselves is the key to happiness... Reflection on ourselves, our past and life opens our hearts, with a whisper, to accepting and appreciating who we are and who we want to be. First. We need to love ourselves before we can attempt to love others. Again. (Report) Reply

  • (11/30/2013 6:47:00 AM)

    Wow deep like a reflection of yourself, your past, and life in general
    Overtime changed so much so that you have become a stranger to yourself
    Revisiting and embracing yourself is so important in understanding life and growth
    Recount all memories, photos, notes, and messages...Why
    Delve in, indulge, and ponder
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2013 10:35:00 AM)

    I recently came across this graceful and beautiful poem, again, in a wonderful book, When You're Falling, Dive by Mark Matousek. It found me at a point in my life when I can fully truly appeciate the depth of its truth and beauty, and I am just inexplicably grateful! The words move my heart and my very soul. (Report) Reply

  • (11/30/2012 4:42:00 PM)

    I really cant say what everyone else has said, eventually we all have to realize that other people can never complete us, or that we become segments with other bodies, our lives are ours and ours alone, if their was ever something which proved existentialism to its basic ingredients it would be this poem, a magical read (Report) Reply

  • Emma Adamyan (11/30/2012 10:26:00 AM)

    very deep, but so simply penned, amazing! (Report) Reply

  • (8/24/2012 8:58:00 PM)

    If you read The Mindful Way through Depression (by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn) where it is quoted, I think you'll understand better of what the poem means.
    Your true self is your home, there is only yourself who will always be there if you have a full relationship with yourself. Ultimately, others will always be fleeting or unreliable, as with anything outside ourselves.
    (Report) Reply

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# 61 poem on top 500 Poems

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What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: mirror, smile, love, heart, life, time

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Sunday, July 31, 2011

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