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Love After Love

Rating: 4.2

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

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Alan Collins 10 August 2012

Really: The title gives it away! It is about over-coming the grief of a broken love-affair, and finding the love which you thought was lost for ever; the love you ignored for another (the love you once received from another human being) . The author suggests throwing away the photographs of your ex-lover, together with the desperate notes you exchanged hoping to rekindle that broken love affair, and the old love letters you have collected. After that Love there is another Love to be found. You will love against the stranger who was yourself. This poem is not only about the ending of despair and grief, but the recovery of who you once were before you gave the love in your heart away. The love after love! The recovery of your own loving kindness and self-esteem. If there is no one else, you can begin to take care of yourself, at least! However this is a Christian evangelical poem, because wine and bread refer to the specific Christian Eucharist. I think that Derek Walcott is referring to LOVE as the Christ in you; the hope of glory and the rebirth which follows that death which we know as grief or the valley of the shadow of death, when we have lost the will to live, or faith that life is meaningful. A meaningful feast. Personally I think it does not matter what particular religion you may belong to, for ultimately all religious beliefs are about the love of God, reflected through various spiritual teachers. However this is a poem by a 'born again' Christian, isn't it? The Bible says that to find the stranger who was your self you have to become like a child, again; and I believe this is true (whether or not you belong to any religion) ! But, whether you are a monk or nun, or whatever, you will want to share that innocent love; even if just with a smile. Derek Walcott has shared it with a poem!

64 48 Reply
millie kinillie 09 May 2011

this poem is about meeting 'self'. we have the self that we present to the world our persona i guess, but we also have a true self. the real self that lies beneath the masks that we put on. we are so busy doing and running that sometimes, maybe all the time, we forget that these masks that we put on for other people are not the real us at all. i feel this poem is about us rediscovering our real true selves. the true self of course is pure love and beauty and i feel the author means that when we finally meet this part of ourself that it is then that we will greet ourselves with elation. it is then that we can truly be. we can sit and feast on our lives, look with love admiration and without judgement on our lives, on ourselves. because when we finally discover who we truly are, finaly meet our true self we go past ego, we can just simply Be. This is probably the most beautiful poem Ii have ever read.

79 7 Reply

This poem can be tackled from a postcolonial perspective. The self in exile can be discussed as the self that was overshadowed by western perspectives or the self that was denied into existence and cast out and replaced by western ideologies and standards. The last stanza can simply refer to an awakening or simply a coming to terms with who the person truly is - an acceptance of one's roots and culture.

43 36 Reply
Alan Collins 10 August 2012

Really: The title gives it away! It is about over-coming the grief of a broken love-affair, and finding the love which you thought was lost for ever; the love you ignored for another (the love you once received from another human being) . The author suggests throwing away the photographs of your ex-lover, together with the desperate notes you exchanged hoping to rekindle that broken love affair, and the old love letters you have collected. After that Love there is another Love to be found. You will love against the stranger who was yourself. This poem is not only about the ending of despair and grief, but the recovery of who you once were before you gave the love in your heart away. The love after love! The recovery of your own loving kindness and self-esteem. If there is no one else, you can begin to take care of yourself, at least! However this is a Christian evangelical poem, because wine and bread refer to the specific Christian Eucharist. I think that Derek Walcott is referring to LOVE as the Christ in you; the hope of glory and the rebirth which follows that death which we know as grief or the valley of the shadow of death, when we have lost the will to live, or faith that life is meaningful. A meaningful feast. Personally I think it does not matter what particular religion you may belong to, for ultimately all religious beliefs are about the love of God, reflected through various spiritual teachers. However this is a poem by a 'born again' Christian, isn't it? The Bible says that to find the stranger who was your self you have to become like a child, again; and I believe this is true (whether or not you belong to any religion) ! But, whether you are a monk or nun, or whatever, you will want to share that innocent love; even if just with a smile. Derek Walcott has shared it with a poem!

40 38 Reply
Courtney English 13 December 2011

This poem is so simple yet revealingly true. But why do I long to be reconciled with the one I love Yet having viewed my own beauty? I cannot fulfil my yearning for companionship! Is there a poem for this lone man that only looks at other women? Yearning only for the mind of her that is gone? How can I reach her heart with no given door to open? How can I place my heart in view of her wondrous eyes that lead to her emotion? How? Will I strive for love till I die? And the grief is tangible, unending. The pool of my tears is dried up. My queen … I love you! Help!

21 48 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 10 September 2021

Great Modern Poem Of The Day! Congratulations!

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 10 September 2021

I love very much this poem abou Love, the love after another love, but finally as love must be in the end, eventhiough a smile is a token of love for the other. Brilliant poem about Love as only this great poet from St. Lucia can do.

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Dr Dillip K Swain 10 September 2021

Lovely, lovely..... beautiful.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 10 September 2021

Sublimestly told this Love affair by the great poet of St. Lucia, Congrats being chosen as The Modern Poem Of The Day

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MAHTAB BANGALEE 09 September 2021

A beautiful Feast of loving poem

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